Monday, 16 July, 2018

Two of Scott Pruitt's top aides resign amid EPA scrutiny

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the Interior Environment and Related Agencies on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Two of Scott Pruitt's top aides resign amid EPA scrutiny
Melinda Barton | 08 June, 2018, 10:10

The Washington Post reports.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced the resignation of his senior legal counsel on Thursday, the second departure of a top aide in as many days and one of a half-dozen since April amid unending barrages of ethics complaints and federal inquiries.

Several Senate Republicans have come to a consensus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt: while they can get behind his regulation rollbacks, the recent slew of scandals surrounding his name have become a major distraction.

The news is just the latest in the growing ethical cloud surrounding Pruitt, for which Pruitt is under investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the EPA's inspector general.

"Administrator Scott Pruitt, thank you".

Pruitt, who also has enlisted agency staff in tasks that ranged from apartment hunting to securing a mattress for his personal use, faces congressional scrutiny over an expanding number of spending and management decisions.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) called on Pruitt to resign immediately. This included enlisting the help of an agency aide to coordinate with Chick-fil-a, a fast food chicken franchise, to help his wife find a job, as first reported by The Washington Post.

Federal ethics codes prohibit having staffers conduct personal errands and bar officials from using their position for private gain.

"My wife is an entrepreneur herself, I love, she loves, we love Chick-fil-A as a franchise of faith and it's one of the best in the country and that's something we were very excited about", Pruitt told WISC. But don't worry, it's all a part of the changes that the administration is making, according to Pruitt: "There's significant changes happening across, not only at the EPA, but across this administration and it's needed".

The protective detail cost taxpayers almost $3.5 million during Pruitt's first year on the job, according to EPA data, and is roughly triple the size of those of his immediate predecessors. "And you know, somebody has to say that about you a little bit", Mr. Trump told him Wednesday during a briefing on the coming hurricane season.