EPA chief resigns amid ethics scandals


EPA chief resigns amid ethics scandals

Trévon Austin

6 July 2018

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt resigned July 6, after months of scandal surrounding his behavior. In his resignation letter, Pruitt cited the numerous investigations into his supervision of the environmental agency as “unrelenting attacks.”

Pruitt is the subject of more than a dozen inquiries or reviews into his practices at the agency. The former EPA head is not being forced out of office due to popular opposition to his deregulatory policies, but because his personal corruption was seen as an obstacle to the pro-corporate rampage within the EPA.

Pruitt has faced various criticisms, including his first-class plane travel, the lease of a room at a condo linked to a Canadian energy company’s lobbying firm, and the installation of a $43,000 soundproof booth in his office. He has also been accused of demoting or reassigning at least four high-ranking officials at the EPA for questioning his spending and management.

The former administrator’s lavish spending even drew objections from right-wing elements such as Fox News and talk show host Laura Ingraham, who tweeted on Tuesday: “Pruitt Is the Swamp. Drain It.”

His excesses included a trip arranged by a lobbyist to Morocco, a 24-hour security detail, and frequent weekend trips to Oklahoma, where he was state attorney general before Trump named him to his cabinet. A former EPA staff member told Congress that Pruitt often asked employees to “find him something to do” in Oklahoma to justify his use of federal funds to go there.

Pruitt has also been accused of violating anti-lobbyist laws and nepotism on multiple occasions. Pruitt used at least four different email accounts, and a review of EPA emails indicated close ties…

Read more