Regional EPA Head Indicted on Ethics Charges

Nov 14, 2018

Trey Glenn

Editor's Note: On correction from the AP below...

The man appointed by President Donald Trump's administration to run the Environmental Protection Agency's Southeastern regional office and who once was Alabama's top environmental official has been indicted, along with a former business partner, on state ethics charges in Alabama.

Trey Glenn and a former business partner, Scott Phillips, were charged with multiple ethics violations in Birmingham Tuesday. The ethics law prohibits officials from using their office for personal financial gain and from soliciting or receiving money or other things of value.

Glenn was appointed in August 2017 as administrator of the EPA's regional office in Atlanta, which oversees eight Southeastern states. He had previously served as director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management and also worked as a business lobbyist who opposed EPA Superfund cleanup efforts in Birmingham.

Al.com reported that Glenn and Phillips each maintained their innocence in statements sent by a worker at a law firm in Montgomery.

The newspaper reported that charges against them include multiple violations of Alabama's Ethics Act, including soliciting a thing of value from a principal, lobbyist or subordinate, and receiving money in addition that received in one's official capacity.

Glenn worked for nearly five years as director of Alabama's environment department, where his tenure ended abruptly.

In 2007, The Alabama Ethics Commission found unanimously that there was probable cause Glenn violated ethics rules in taking gifts, including a personal family trip to Disney World that was paid for by a public relations firm that represented a client doing business with his agency.

Glenn was eventually cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the case, but resigned in 2009 after the ethics investigations.

Phillips is a former chairman of the Alabama Environmental Management Commission.

After Glenn left the state environmental agency, he formed a lobbying firm with Phillips. Both were involved in opposing a federal Superfund cleanup in Birmingham. A former state lawmaker, Oliver Robinson, has pleaded guilty and two others — Drummond Co. executive David Roberson and attorney Joel Gilbert — were convicted on charges linked to that project.

Glenn and Phillips each testified in the trial of Roberson and Gilbert this summer. Roberson and Gilbert were convicted on charges they bribed Robinson to oppose efforts by the EPA to clean up a Birmingham neighborhood in Robinson's district.

EPA's Region 4, headquartered in Atlanta, includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Correction from the Associated Press--

Correction: Environmental Regulator-Indictment story

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — In a story Nov. 13 about the indictment of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency official Trey Glenn on state ethics charges in Alabama, The Associated Press reported erroneously that the Alabama Ethics Commission in 2007 found probable cause that Glenn — who then headed Alabama's Department of Environmental Management — had taken gifts from Alabama Power Co. The commission's ruling had nothing to do with Alabama Power.

From News Director Pat Duggins-- Alabama Public Radio utilized the AP wire story in its coverage. Our story here has been amended.