Details Hazy On 'Death Threats' Against EPA's Scott Pruitt

US President Donald Trump listens to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speak after announcing the US will withdraw from the Paris accord in the Rose Garden of the White House

The Office of Government Ethics has put EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on notice over continued allegations of ethical lapses, including a questionable rental agreement, exorbitant travel at taxpayer expense and questions over his demotions or reassignments of staff who did not agree with him.

Within the letter, Appearing Director of the Workplace of Authorities Ethics David Apol calls on the EPA's ethics workplace to evaluate and analyze studies about Pruitt's residing association in a Capitol Hill townhouse related to lobbyists, his journey and safety bills, and studies that he retaliated towards employees that raised objections to a few of his selections.

Lankford, who authors an annual report on wasteful government spending, called Pruitt a "dedicated public servant" during his introduction, saying Pruitt "respects the importance of our federalist foundation and the pocketbooks of hardworking families".

In less than two years, Pruitt canceled the EPA's request for about 20,000 oil and gas companies to gauge their emissions of methane and he withdrew a proposed ban on chlorpyrifos, a pesticide, which the EPA's own scientists said posed risks to human health, according to the Post.

As The Atlantic previously reported, Pruitt asked the White House last month to approve raises for Greenwalt and Hupp, since they are political appointees, and the White House refused. Tweeting that Pruitt is doing a "great job". That amount includes travel and overtime pay for Mr. Pruitt's round-the-clock detail of security officers.

Ryan Jackson said the move to use a special authority was all his and that Pruitt had nothing to do with it.

Writing to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), fellow panel members Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) reference several internal EPA documents - which they kept confidential "in an abundance of caution to protect any specific ongoing security efforts" - that allude to the kind of threats that have not traditionally triggered 24/7 protection.

In the April 6 letter, the Office of Government Ethics raised a number of concerns it hopes EPA officials will clarify, such as whether Pruitt's stay at a condo tied to the energy lobbyist, J. Steven Hart, qualifies as a gift.

Meanwhile, the New York Times revealed Thursday that five EPA staffers who questioned Pruitt's lavish spending were reassigned or demoted. Pruitt has been accused of using an obscure provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act to give two loyal aides huge salary increases, after being turned down to authorize more money by the White House.

The agency's ethics officials searched for rates on Airbnb and Zillow and found that the rate of $50 a night was market value. Collins was the sole Republican senator to vote against Pruitt's nomination past year.

The broader probe launched by EPA's inspector general into Pruitt's security spending grew out of a 2016 audit into whether members of the administrator's protective detail were improperly paid overtime wages.

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". The Associated Press also reported that Pruitt sometimes flew on a companion pass obtained with the frequent flyer miles of Ken Wagner, a former law partner from Oklahoma that Pruitt hired to serve as a senior adviser at the EPA.

Pruitt is rewriting the record book for shameless government corruption.



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