Aide questioned Pruitt's spending

Apr 14, 2018, 11:58
Aide questioned Pruitt's spending

A former employee who objected to Scott Pruitt's spending at the Environmental Protection Agency has "painted an extremely troubling picture" of waste, unethical behavior and "potentially illegal" actions by the agency's administrator, said House and Senate Democrats.

Former EPA deputy chief of staff, Kevin Chmielewski, also said Pruitt was aware of major raises given to other aides, rebutting Pruitt's account that he was unaware of the salary bumps.

Two years ago, Kevin Chmielewski was a Donald Trump campaign aide who was working tirelessly to ensure that the NY businessman became America's 45th president.

In the eight page letter to Pruitt, the lawmakers write: "Mr. Chmielewski provided new details and corroborated other reports regarding allegations of wasteful spending on taxpayer funds and your disregard for the ethical and legal requirements of your position".

The lawmakers, both members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, note that the EPA has received "thousands" of public records requests since Pruitt took over the agency.

"We have at least four times - four to five times the number of threats against Mr. Pruitt than we had against Ms. [Gina] McCarthy", Sullivan said, referring to the last sitting EPA administrator in the Obama administration.

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are crying foul about all this, and when they agree on anything these days, you know it's bad. When asked for a response, EPA spokeswoman Jahan Wilcox said, "We will respond to members of Congress through the proper channel".

Pruitt also allegedly exceeded the amount he was allowed to spend at hotels per night, and twice refused the recommendations from the USA embassy on global trips to Italy and Australia because he wanted to stay in more expensive locations.

The Senate confirmed Wheeler Thursday 53-45. Sheldon Whitehouse's office obtained a reproduction of that memo, reviewed by ABC Data, which lists 14 protection priorities just like rolling once more the Clear Power Plan and withdrawing the discovering that sorts the premise of the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

The fearless EPA leader is said to be disenchanted with the agency's logo because it resembles, to him, a marijuana leaf. Chmielewski has said he was removed from his position and placed on administrative leave after refusing to approve inappropriate expenditures.

Pruitt tweeted to congratulate Wheeler and said in an announcement he appears forward to working with Wheeler to implement the president's agenda.

Still, after waging a public relations campaign last week, exclusively via the conservative media, Pruitt has been able to hang onto his job by portraying himself as a would-be martyr of the Trump era. Pruitt also regularly demanded that his flights be booked on Delta airlines - even when the federal government didn't have a government carrier contract with Delta - because Pruitt wanted to bank as many frequent flyer miles as possible.

The EPA did not say Thursday when Wheeler will be sworn in.

He paid $50 per night, according to the reports, and paid only for the nights he used the condo.

During his confirmation hearing early a year ago, Pruitt said he never used a personal email account for official business as Oklahoma state attorney general.