Trump’s regional EPA chief in California is suddenly removed

The Environmental Protection Agency’s best official in California was abruptly taken out from office environment Wednesday.

No motive has however been presented for Mike Stoker’s dismissal.

In an e mail despatched to workers members of the surroundings agency’s Pacific Southwest regional business, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler wrote, “I would like to thank Mike Stoker for his support to the EPA.”

He then extra, “I want him and his family members the best in their future endeavors.”

Deborah Jordan, the region’s deputy administrator, will take over as acting head of Region 9, which includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, the Pacific Island Territories and 148 Indian tribes. She has been deputy administrator due to the fact 2016. Ahead of that, she worked on Clean Air Act regulatory matters for equally EPA headquarters and Region 9.

The dismissal was first described Wednesday evening by BuzzFeed Information on Twitter.

Stoker’s tenure was mired in controversy. In 2018, a several months after he was appointed regional administrator, a “hotline” complaint was filed with the EPA’s inspector standard relating to his rare visits to the region’s main business office, in San Francisco.

In March 2019, the EPA’s inspector standard issued a “management alert.” It confirmed that Stoker used only 20-per cent of his time in San Francisco, where by 90 % of the staff members is dependent.

A few months later on, EPA Chief of Workers Ryan Jackson instituted a yr-prolonged “pilot plan,” enabling Stoker to switch his responsibility base from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Neither Stoker nor EPA reps could be arrived at for remark Wednesday evening.

Just before taking the regional administrator task, Stoker served as director of federal government affairs for UnitedAg, one particular of California’s most significant agricultural associations. According to his EPA biography, he was also a member of Santa Barbara County’s Board of Supervisors from 1986-1994, chairman of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board from 1995-2000, and California deputy secretary of condition from 2000-2002.

Stoker was a supporter of previous EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt before Pruitt resigned amid several controversies in 2018. At the time, Stoker called Pruitt’s resignation “definitely a minimal little bit unique.”

“I’ve been close to politics long more than enough that absolutely nothing is a shock,” he stated of Pruitt’s departure.

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