The Environmental Protection Agency spent $1,560 of taxpayer money on a dozen pricey customized pens the agency handed out as party favors, according to a Washington Post report Friday.
The 12 silver pens included an EPA seal and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s signature, the report noted, which was based on emails obtained by the Sierra Club. The purchase was among a larger $3,230 order that included personalized journals from Tiny Jewel Box. Each of the pens cost $130.
“The cost of the Qty. 12 Fountain Pens will be around $1,560.00,” the retailer told Pruitt’s political aide and scheduler Millan Hupp in an August 14 email. “All the other items total cost is around $1,670.00 which these items are in process. Please advise.”
“Yes, please order,” Hupp responded. “Thank you.”
“These purchases were made for the purpose of serving as gifts to the Administrator’s foreign counterparts and dignitaries upon his meeting with them,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement. “This adheres to the same protocol of former EPA Administrators and were purchased using funds budgeted for such a purpose.”
The media has leveled heavy criticism against Pruitt in the past for spending on items like a $43,000 soundproof booth, $9,600 on office decor and tens of thousands on first-class travel. He’s also been accused of misusing taxpayer money on a round-the-clock security team. Previous presidential administration have similarly struggled to rein in spending on furniture. (RELATED: Career Staff, Not Pruitt, Were Behind EPA’s $43K Phone Booth)
EPA officials spent more than $92.4 million from 2005 to 2015 to purchase, rent, install and store office furniture ranging from chairs and a wooden table worth thousands of dollars each, according to a 2015 report from The Washington Times. (RELATED: EPA Spent $25K On A Secure Phone Booth For Scott Pruitt To Prevent Eavesdropping)
The shopping sprees equaled about $6,000 for every one of the agency’s 15,492 employees.
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