It’s been a long week for Trey Glenn, a Trump administration appointee who oversees eight states in the Southeast for the Environmental Protection Agency.
On Monday came word that Glenn, an EPA regional administrator based in Atlanta, had been indicted by a grand jury in Alabama on violations of state ethics laws. According to the Alabama Ethics Commission, Glenn has been charged with use of his office for personal gain and soliciting or receiving a “thing of value” from a principal or lobbyist.
The charges facing Glenn and a former business partner appeared to stem from past work helping a coal company fight liability in an EPA-mandated cleanup of a polluted site in north Birmingham.
Glenn was booked at the Jefferson County Jail on Thursday morning in Birmingham. He was released shortly after on a $30,000 bond, records show.
The exact details of Glenn’s alleged crimes were unclear. As of Friday afternoon, a formal indictment had not been filed. The EPA did not respond to requests for comment on Glenn’s arrest. Neither did prosecutors in Jefferson County.
Glenn also could not be reached for comment, although his attorney issued a statement on his behalf to the Associated Press. “The charges against me are totally unfounded and will be vigorously defended,” Glenn said in the statement. “I am innocent and expect to be fully vindicated.”
The indictment involves actions that predate Glenn’s time at the EPA — he was named to his post in August by then-Administrator Scott Pruitt. But it has brought the agency unwanted attention in connection with the Trump administration’s hiring practices.
“Trey Glenn should have never made it through any serious vetting process,” New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, said in a statement. “Scott Pruitt may be gone, but it’s clear the culture of corruption remains.”
Pallone said that when Democrats take control of the House next year, they “will conduct vigorous oversight of the EPA and the Trump administration to ensure that public officials are serving the American people and not the special interests.”
The charges are not Glenn’s first encounter with ethics issues. In 2007, while Glenn was serving as director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, the Alabama Ethics Commission referred a complaint against him to prosecutors. He ultimately was not charged with wrongdoing. He left the department in 2009.
Glenn later lobbied on behalf of industry before getting his EPA post. The announcement of his appointment last summer did not mention his lobbying work, focusing instead on what the agency described as decades of “environmental and regulatory experience” across the Southeast. Pruitt praised Glenn’s “invaluable experience” and said he would “help us carry out President Trump’s vision of creating a more streamlined and efficient EPA.”
Upon arriving at the EPA, Glenn recused himself from issues involving his former clients.
The agency’s Southeast region encompasses eight states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Alice Crites contributed to this report.