Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Ethics concerns tainting good work done by Pruitt

Ethics concerns tainting good work done by Pruitt

The Office of Government Ethics is raising concerns about Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.

"Consequently, in an instance in which the EPA ethics office lacks sufficient evidence to assess fully an ethics matter, we have a long-standing practice of referring it to the EPA's Inspector General (IG) for investigation", Kevin Minoli, EPA's top ethics official, wrote in an April 9 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.

EPA documents and sources revealed that the agency spent about $3 million on a 20-person, full-time security detail and travel expenses for Pruitt, according to a new analysis on Sunday.

However, a nationwide search of state and federal court records by The Associated Press found no case in which somebody has been arrested or charged with threatening Pruitt, the wire service reported Friday.

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Instead, even as revelations about Pruitt piled up this week, Trump was reportedly still entertaining the idea of installing Pruitt as attorney general, a position for which his primary qualification may be a willingness to squelch the Russian Federation investigation. But he said in a September interview with E&E News that there were more investigations into threats against Pruitt than for either of his two immediate predecessors.

"Scott Pruitt has faced an unprecedented amount of death threats against him and his family", EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement when asked about Pruitt's security costs.

Apol called reports that Pruitt reassigned or demoted staff member who questioned his spending and other actions "extremely concerning".

Pruitt paid $50 an evening to remain in a bed room of a Capitol Hill townhouse co-owned by Vicki Hart, the spouse of a lobbyist named J. Stephen Hart, whose agency represents vitality corporations with pursuits that fall beneath EPA jurisdiction. Pruitt's use of taxpayer dollars for things like first class travel and office decorations, Rounds continued, was justified because Pruitt had saved taxpayers money through his deregulatory actions.

'The reason why all the emphasis right now is on Mr. Pruitt is because he is executing these policies and they are not real popular policies with a lot of people, but he is executing the policies that this president said that he would put in place, ' Rounds said. The Times reports that an EPA spokeswoman said all the trips were related to agency business.

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The EPA's inner watchdog started wanting into Pruitt's frequent journey again to Oklahoma in August of final yr.

Oliver also went on to point out that Pruitt's LinkedIn page was still describing him as "a leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda". That evaluate has since expanded to take a look at the price of all his journey in 2017 when he incessantly traveled firstclass on home and worldwide journeys.

On Saturday, Trump reiterated his support, defending Pruitt's spending and his $50 per night rental arrangement with the lobbyist couple.

The EPA did not respond to a request for comment. Collins was the sole Republican senator to vote against Pruitt's nomination previous year.

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