Scott Pruit is now under investigation for a number of ethical concerns and conflicts of interest. From spending about 4 million dollars of taxpayer money on personal purchases, being lobbied by a number of companies, to even using federal aides for his wife’s businesses inquiries, Pruitt is facing a great number of controversies.
Because of the numerous scandals, Pruitt has decided to resign.
Scott’s personal purchases include 1,560 dollars for 12 fountain pens, a 100,000 dollar trip to Morroco, a 43,000 dollar soundproof booth, and a 120,000 dollar trip to Italy. While the list of wild to luxury expenses goes on, one that caught many people’s attention were Scott’s First Class airline tickets. The agency argued he needed them to avoid “lashing out passengers”. In other words- Pruitt cannot bear to face criticism from the general public.
Matt Little, Senator of Minnesota, tweeted
I’ve been in public office for almost eight years.
If I’m out in public eating lunch or having dinner, you have every right to come up to me and tell me what you think.
That’s how public service works.
cc: any whining government officials
— Matt Little (@LittleSenator) July 4, 2018
The ethical investigations will also be looking in to his steady relationships with a number of lobbyists. While being lobbied by Steven J. Hart, the then chairmen of the lobbying firm Williams & Jensen, Pruitt stayed in Hart’s Wife’s apartment in Capitol Hill for only 50 dollars a night. Pruitt also had a meeting with Hart, yet denied that the allegations that their encounter was “lobbying”.
Pruitt also has relations with a billionaire, coal-business executive. Pruitt accepted VIP basketball tickets from the billionaire, who was seeking changes on coal regulations from the Obama era. The same billionaire donated 2 million dollars to the Trump campaign.
It is noted that Pruitt has used federal aides for various personal handlings. Pruitt had an aide contact the fast food company Chick-Fil-A for a franchise, calling it a “possible business opportunity” for his wife. Pruitt also had an aide look in to purchasing a used mattress from the Trump Hotel.
Many have argued that the ethical problems with Pruitt began before he was even sworn in. Pruitt has held 14 lawsuits against the EPA. He has sued over air standards, safeguards against air pollution, carbon pollution, safe power plant standards, and clean water regulations. Also, Pruitt- given the job of protecting the environment- does not believe in Climate Change.
While the agency continues to defend his own actions, Pruitt has faced major public backlash. Trump has continued to support Scott’s running of the EPA, although he has admitted “I am not happy about certain things, but he has done a fantastic job.”
With great scandal looming over Scott Pruitt- he has finally decided to step down. He announced his resignation today. Now Deputy Andrew Wheeler of the EPA will now become the head administrator.
Featured Image via Flickr, Gage Skidmore