Top US Ethics Officer Scolds EPA Over Pruitt Allegations

Saul Bowman
April 11, 2018

The ethics office does not have the authority to take action against Pruitt, or demand that Pruitt respond to the letter.

"The American public needs to have confidence that ethics violations, as well as the appearance of ethics violations, are investigated and properly addressed", he wrote. Last week, an EPA spokesman said Pruitt's actions were in compliance with federal ethics regulations.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt listens to President Trump speak to reporters before a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday.

Trump also defended Pruitt in a tweet on Saturday, saying the secretary has "received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA".

"From his tenure as Oklahoma's attorney general, it was clear that Scott Pruitt plays fast and loose with propriety when it serves the oil and gas industry". That association has raised further questions on Pruitt's time at EPA and a number of lawmakers have referred to as for additional investigation into the deal. The OGE does not have authority to take action with respect to any possible violation, according to CNN.

Since coming to the agency, Pruitt has demanded more security than any of his predecessors, requesting a round-the-clock security detail that has cost taxpayers almost $3 million.

The president's tweet came as Pruitt faced questions over the amount of money he spends on his security detail, which is comprised of 19 agents and at least 19 vehicles, CNN reported, with previous reports from the network suggesting Pruitt's security team cost around $2 million per year.

In a New York Times report from last Thursday by reporters Eric Lipton, Kenneth P. Vogel and Lisa Friedman, Wilcox allegedly said, "They run the variety of direct death threats - "I'm going to put a bullet in your brain" - to implied threats - 'If you don't classify this particular chemical in this particular way, I'm going to hurt you".


On Tuesday afternoon the E.P.A. acknowledged that the agency official who had signed off on the February assessment questioning Mr. Pruitt's security threats had been dismissed.

The big picture: Pruitt's environmental views are actually in line with most conservative elected officials since Ronald Reagan was elected president in 1980.

But, they added, "Another view is that certain factions within E.P.A. have justified the exorbitant taxpayer spending incurred by the administrator's first-class travel and large entourage of security personnel through unsubstantiated claims about threats to his security, either at the direction of the administrator himself or others in the agency".

Paying rock-bottom rent to live in a condo linked to a fossil fuel lobbyist.

Inhofe was one of Pruitt's more vocal supporters prior to his confirmation. "I'm not going to call it fake news". Pruitt exclusively paid for nights that he slept on the apartment and has referred to as it an "Airbnb" model association, however exterior ethics specialists have mentioned it may elevate additional questions if the homeowners held the room open for him even when he did not pay.

"Pruitt.has fought against federal overreach", Inhofe wrote.

It notes, among other things, that in Pruitt's "eagerness to hold high-profile political events promoting his agenda", the man who now leads the EPA has often "been less than rigorous in following important procedures, leading to poorly crafted legal efforts that risk being struck down in court".

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