Canton Repository

August 15, 2002

EPA, ex-ombudsman set mediation session 

DORI MEINERT
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON — A mediation session between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the agency’s former ombudsman Robert Martin has been scheduled for Friday.

The session, to be conducted by the federal Office of Special Counsel, is aimed at resolving a complaint by Martin, who resigned in April rather than work under the EPA’s inspector general. The transfer would diminish his authority, he said.

The EPA had postponed the first session that had been scheduled for Wednesday without public explanation.

Martin, who resigned in April, said Tuesday that he wants to be able to complete his work on pending cases. One of those cases
involves Industrial Excess Landfill in Stark County’s Lake Township.

“I’m looking forward to sitting down across the table and getting some work done on this,” said Doug Hartnett, an attorney with the
Government Accountability Project, a watchdog group representing Martin.

Mediation is a voluntary process conducted by the federal Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal investigative agency
that protects federal employees from specific “prohibited personnel practices,” particularly reprisal from whistle-blowing.