Man who coined ‘lock her up’ chant to lead EPA’s Pacific Southwest office
Michael Stoker, best known for coining the “lock her up” chant against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Republican National Convention, will soon head the EPA’s regional office that oversees the Pacific Southwest.
The agency officially announced the appointment of Stoker Friday in an email sent to employees that was obtained by The Hill.
The announcement from Environmental Protection Agency chief of staff Ryan Jackson says Stoker has “spent his career serving the public and working as an attorney specializing in agriculture, labor, land use, and environmental law.”
Stoker, a former Republican Santa Barbara County supervisor and agriculture attorney, will officially start May 21.
Stoker’s appointment will fill a long-open vacancy in San Francisco’s Region 9 office.
The administration had reportedly struggled to find people interested in taking the appointment. In January it was widely expected that Ryan Flynn, an oil and gas lobbyist from New Mexico, would take on the role but he later told the Los Angeles Times that he was staying put.
The regional office oversees more than 700 EPA staffers throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands.
Stoker most recently served as director of government affairs for agriculture lobby, UnitedAg, and served as California deputy secretary of state from 2000-2002.
However, the Los Angeles Times reports that Stoker also has no interest in moving to San Francisco to oversee the office, and is hoping to instead work out of a smaller satellite EPA office based in Los Angeles.
The report generated ire from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) who sent a letter to Pruitt on Thursday warning there’d be consequences to allowing Stoker to be an “absentee” leader, and asking how the arrangement would work and cost.
In a statement tweeted out Friday, Pruitt welcomed Stoker to the position saying, “Mike Stoker is highly qualified and well-equipped to lead Region 9. Through his public service and career in law, he understands the environmental challenges facing the region and will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to EPA.”
I’ve appointed Mike Stoker as Regional Administrator for @EPAregion9. Through his public service and career in law, Mike understands the environmental challenges facing the region and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to @EPA ➡️ https://t.co/VtPN6KZ1CD
— Administrator Pruitt (@EPAScottPruitt) May 18, 2018