Burt Ferder, along with Frank Ernest, aided Philip Glossman in attempting to ruin Tom Riley's image during his bid for the mayorship of Odyssey. As agents of the state Environmental Detection Agency, they doctored the results of a chemical test to show that Tom Riley's produce was unsafe for consumption.
Later (possibly in response to protests that no one had actually been harmed by Riley's apples) they returned to the farm to contaminate the water outright. However, the plan was foiled when they were caught on tape by Eugene Meltsner and Sam Johnson, whom Riley had hired as independent experts. With nothing left to tarnish his reputation, Riley went on to become Odyssey's new mayor.
Following the affair, Ferder and Ernest were placed on administrative leave pending a full internal investigation. Glossman publicly denied any connection with them, and later admitted to Regis Blackgaard that he had had no idea that they would be so careless.