The husband of a former member of Donald Trump’s household staff has suddenly ratcheted up his career to become an official of the Environmental Protection Agency. He’s just the latest Trump family connection to land a job in the administration.
According to a memo obtained by Politico, Steve Kopec of New Jersey joined the EPA’s Region 2 office in New York as a special assistant in December.
The home improvement contractor brings skills regarding “customer service,” “organizational efficiencies” and “team building,” according to the memo from the Region 2 administrator, but, apparently, no expertise on the environment. He’s providing “support services,” according to the EPA. His salary is around $66,000, according to a Politico source.
Kopec, who used to run his home improvement business, Steve’s Tools in Motion, from his Jersey home, is married to Dagmara Kopec, who used to work in the Trumps’ New York home, Politico reports. Both are from Poland.
“Mr. Kopec is a hard-working, dedicated employee and we appreciate his service,” EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said in a statement to Politico.
Workers suspected of lacking qualifications for positions in the Trump administration are not unheard of. In December, Matthew Spencer Petersen, a Trump nominee for a lifetime seat in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, struggled to answer basic questions about law during his Senate confirmation hearing. He later withdrew his name from consideration.
Last summer, the president appointed Lynne Patton, a Trump family aide who staged events at its properties, to head the New York office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Taylor Weyeneth, a 23-year-old volunteer in the Trump presidential campaign with no experience, became the deputy chief of staff for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which controls billions of dollars to fight illegal drug use. After The Washington Post reported on his puzzling rise and “inconsistencies” in his resume, the ONDCP announced that Weyeneth was stepping down last month.
The president also drew criticism when he appointed daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to senior White House roles over individuals with more experience in politics.