THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION Agency has tasked a banker who was banned from the banking industry for life with oversight of the nation’s Superfund program.
In May, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation fined Oklahoma banker Albert Kelly $125,000. According to a consent order, which The Intercept obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the FDIC had “reason to believe that [Kelly] violated a law or regulation, by entering into an agreement pertaining to a loan by the Bank without FDIC approval.”
Two weeks later, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appointed Kelly to lead an effort to streamline the Superfund program. In July, the FDIC went further, banning Kelly from banking for life. The “order of prohibition from further participation” explained that the FDIC had determined Kelly’s “unfitness to serve as a director, officer, person participating in the conduct of the affairs or as an institution-affiliated party of the Bank, any other insured depository institution.”
But Pruitt, who had received loans from Kelly’s bank, apparently didn’t find Kelly’s unfitness to serve in the financial industry as disqualifying his longtime friend from serving as a top official at the EPA. Since May, Kelly, or Kell as he was known in Oklahoma, has led the effort to streamline the Superfund program — which oversees remediation of some of the country’s most toxic sites.