New EPA Chief 'Always Has' Fake Nose With Her: Daughter

Cathy Stepp's idea to have daughter introduce her to staff may have backfired
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2018 2:19 PM CST
In this Jan. 13, 2017 file photo, Cathy Stepp, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, speaks during an interview in her office in Madison, Wis.   (M.P. King/Wisconsin State Journal via AP File)

(Newser) – Many employees of the Environmental Protection Agency's Midwest region were already concerned about their new boss' history of making things easier for polluters while sweeping humanity's responsibility for climate change under the rug. Now they also must cope with the unexpected knowledge that she apparently "always has" a fake nose with her. Trump-appointed Midwest EPA chief Cathy Stepp had her 23-year-old daughter introduce her in a speech to her new employees Jan. 11. It's safe to say the response wasn't exactly what Stepp had hoped for, with one staffer calling a story shared by Stepp's daughter Hannah "baffling."

During her introduction, Hannah revealed how she failed her first driving test and how her mother made sure she didn't fail a second time. “She put on a disguise of a fake nose and sunglasses and went to the DMV and followed someone taking the driving portion of the test so that she could learn the route, and then we practiced it,” Hannah said. Of the fake nose, Hannah said her mom "always has it with her." Hannah said she thought the story went over well, but staffers weren't sure. “For a public official’s daughter to admit that in front of her entire staff? It’s unethical," one says. "And then, did she help put someone unsafe on the roads?” Stepp says she's surprised by the reaction: "She told an exaggerated, humorous story to poke a little fun at me." Read the full story here. (Read more Environmental Protection Agency stories.)

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