Top Gov’t Ethics Officer Grills EPA’s Scott Pruitt

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Tim Pearce Energy Reporter
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The top federal ethics official questioned Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt’s judgment in a Monday morning letter sent to the EPA’s ethics office.

Office of Government Ethics Acting Director David J. Apol wrote to Kevin Minoli, the top ethics official in the EPA, seeking clarification from Pruitt regarding the EPA administrator’s role in controversies that have plagued Pruitt during his tenure.

“Public trust demands that all employees act in the public’s interest, and free from any actual or perceived conflicts, when fulfilling the governmental responsibilities entrusted to them,” Apol wrote in letter, The New York Times reported. “The American public needs to have confidence that ethics violations, as well as the appearance of ethics violations, are investigated and appropriately addressed.”

Apol specifically called into question Pruitt’s decision to rent a bedroom in a Capitol Hill condo for $50-a-night from a top D.C. lobbyist, as well as expenditures on travel, security and select employees pay. Alson also points to “extremely concerning” reports that Pruitt demoted and reassigned several high-ranking officials after they questioned the administrator’s financial decisions.

President Donald Trump continued to stand by Pruitt as April 3 news stories detailing potential ethical violations circulated, and many lawmakers called on Pruitt to be fired. Trump tweeted his support for the EPA administrator Saturday.

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