GOP-Appointed EPA Official Wore Fake Nose, Sunglasses To Help Daughter Cheat On Driving Test

Cathy Stepp has worked tirelessly since she was appointed by Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to head the EPA Region 5 office that oversees Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin, to make things “friendlier” for businesses by rolling back regulations.

But Stepp, a former Wisconsin state official who rolled back enforcement of anti-pollution laws, reduced funding for scientific research and scrubbed references to climate change from government websites during her tenure,  isn’t satisfied simply helping businesses cheat by seeking fewer penalties against polluters — she also apparently likes helping her daughter cheat at stuff.

Hannah Stepp, 23, had failed her first attempt to get her driver’s license, so her mom slapped on a fake nose and sunglasses and followed an instructor around in an effort to memorize the route so her daughter could practice on just the part on which she would be tested.

“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. “I didn’t fail the second time!”

Stepp’s daughter revealed this as she addressed her mother’s staff on January 11. She later told the local newspaper that her mom always carries around a fake nose.

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Stepp issued a statement through EPA spokeswoman Rachel Bassler on Friday, calling the story of her mom putting on a disguise to help her cheat on a test “an exaggerated, humorous story to poke a little fun at me.”

“It surprises me that anyone would take it otherwise,” Bassler says, refusing to say which part of the tale was exaggerated.

The Wisconsin DMV says that Hannah will not be required to restest as her mother’s actions were technically legal, but it’s pretty clear that Stepp didn’t know that given her spy getup.

Was it cheating? Maybe, maybe not. But the intent to help her daughter cheat was there, and that says everything we really need to know.


Image via screengrab