Pruitt In Hot Water Over ‘Secret’ Calendars
Two Democratic congressmen are seeking an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into Scott Pruitt’s “secret” calendars, where he allegedly hid and altered records.
House Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) wrote a letter to the EPA’s Inspector General on Thursday calling for the investigation into whether the actions of Pruitt’s office were in violation of the Federal Records Act.
Pruitt and his aides maintained the “secret” calendars and schedules in an effort to prevent controversial calls and meetings with industry representatives from becoming public, according to a report by CNN.
The report says that aides routinely met in Pruitt’s office to either remove or alter records that might “look bad,” according to Pruitt’s former deputy chief of staff for operations, Kevin Chmielewski, who attended those meetings. Chmielewski says he was forced to leave the EPA in February after raising questions about Pruitt’s ethics, spending, and management, according to CNN.
“Willful concealment or destruction of such records is a federal crime carrying penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment,” they wrote to EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins, asking him to “protect public trust, and establish whether Administrator Scott Pruitt violated the Federal Records Act, and if so, determine what he concealed and why.”
EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox said that Pruitt does not have a “secret” calendar. “Despite continued false accusations there are no secret calendars or schedules,” he said in a statement to The Hill. “EPA has released the meetings and events Administrator Pruitt has attended — which the media has already reported as meetings with industry — and to report anything else would be categorically false.”
Pruitt is currently being investigated for allegations that he violated ethical and/or spending standards while serving as an EPA administrator. Among the dozen-plus current federal probes, included is Pruitt’s alleged purchase of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth, improperly asking his aides do personal tasks, and renting an apartment from a lobbyist, according to The Hill. If the IG chooses to take the case, this would be the 19th federal probe into Pruitt.