Mike Stoker Dismissed from Environmental Protection Agency
By edhat staff
Former Santa Barbara County Supervisor Mike Stoker was released from his region director position at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week and he speculates the reason is for being too bipartisan.
Stoker, a Carpinteria resident, was appointed by President Trump in May 2018 to head the Region 9 EPA office that covers California, Hawaii, Nevada, Arizona, the Pacific Islands, and 148 tribes. He previously served on the local Board of Supervisors from 1986-1994, chairman of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board from 1995-2000, California deputy secretary of state from 2000-2002, and served as director of government affairs for UnitedAg.
According to an online statement, Stoker states he received a phone call Wednesday morning advising him to resign or he will be terminated as his EPA phone and laptop were disabled within minutes.
He went on to state that three weeks ago he was told by someone in headquarters that it wasn’t going unnoticed how many Democrat members in Congress were commending Stoker for the good job he was doing.
"Bottom line I am proud of the work I’ve done and I am especially proud that both Democrat and Republican lawmakers have applauded my efforts. After all, last time I checked, the EPA’s mission to protect the public health and environment is not a partisan issue...at least it never has been for me," wrote Stoker.
While Stoker stated he will remain loyal to the President he was not given a reason for his termination other than it wasn't personal. Stoker disagrees and went on to state there are a lot of specific situations that may have contributed to his dismissal but he will not reveal them while the president is still in office.
Stoker has faced backlash during his time at the EPA for not regularly working out of the San Francisco office where his 600 employees and regional headquarters are located. He reportedly spent 19 workdays in Los Angeles and took 15 trips out of 35 to Southern California destinations, according to an Inspector General report.
A one-year pilot program was initiated after the report to change Stoker's workplace from San Francisco to Los Angeles. EPA warned that this move could later expose Stoker to liability for his travel expenses as emails showed Stoker pushed for the change, reports E&E News.