The Environmental Protection Agency apparently has a contamination problem of its own, as an internal e-mail sent to employees at the Denver regional office asks them to stop pooping in the hallways.
In the email, EPA Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor refers to "recent incidents" including clogged toilets and "an individual placing feces in the hallway," The Huffington Post reported last month.
Like the famous children's book says, everyone poops. But depending on where you do it, you could face legal consequences for taking care of your business in the wrong place.
Prosecuting the Alleged Pooper
Although the poop incidents at the EPA may seem like pranks, the EPA isn't joking in its response. "Management is taking this situation very seriously and will take whatever actions are necessary to identify and prosecute these individuals," Cantor wrote in his email to employees.
Depending on the intent of the person leaving his or her feces in the hallway, possible criminal charges could include disorderly conduct -- which in Colorado includes making " a coarse and obviously offensive utterance, gesture, or display in a public place" that "tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace" -- or even vandalism, which is typically any willful behavior aimed at destroying, altering, or defacing property belonging to another.
The mysterious EPA hallway pooper isn't the only government employee to get in trouble for inappropriate potty placement recently. An Oregon mailman photographed pooping on a homeowner's lawn was busted by postal investigators in 2011, although he was allowed to return to his job after being disciplined according to Portland's KATU-TV.
Even farting too much can lead to trouble on the job. An employee at the Social Security Administration was formally reprimanded after repeated complaints by co-workers about the employee's constant "uncontrollable flatulence."
When it comes to inappropriate workplace bowel activity, the applicable rule seems to be: He who deals it, feels it.
- EPA Employees Told to Stop Pooping in the Hallway (Government Executive)
- Yale 'Poopetrator' Causing Big Stink on Campus (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)
- Exploding Toilet in GSA Building Injures DC Woman (FindLaw's Injured)
- Texas Cop Arrested After Farting in Another Cop's Face (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)