David Apol, acting director of the OGE, wrote that Pruitt's actions "raise concerns and may constitute a violation of the States of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch" as well as President Trump's ethics pledge (via The Hill). Minoli issued a further memo final week explaining his rationale for figuring out that the residing association didn't violate the reward rule and clarifying that his ethics statements exclusively checked out whether or not the association was an improper reward, not whether or not it created a battle of curiosity or the looks of an inappropriate relationship. Pruitt maintains the owner is a personal friend and that he paid a fair market rate, even though rentals nearby have advertised rates on more than twice what he paid. Apol calls the report "extremely concerning".
But as an article Saturday by The New York Times points out, the reasoning in Pruitt's 38-page determination is so lacking in scientific underpinnings, that it might not survive when challenged in court.
Lankford's office initially declined to comment on the reports about Pruitt, but Lankford was recently quoted in The Oklahoman saying he didn't think Pruitt should resign, adding the decision to rent the room "would seem normal for most Oklahomans".
"If true, it is hard to imagine any action that could more effectively undermine an agency's integrity", he wrote in the letter. Instead, even as revelations about Pruitt piled up this week, Trump was reportedly still entertaining the idea of installing Pruitt as attorney general, a position for which his primary qualification may be willingness to squelch the Russian Federation investigation. I'll say in some cases we'll overblow something, but in this particular case Mr. Pruitt has been doing a good job as the secretary of the EPA.
Ryan Jackson said the move to use a special authority was all his and that Pruitt had nothing to do with it. Among them: questions about Pruitt's expenses for travel and security, the salaries of some employees and allegations that a subordinate helped with his housing search in Washington. The Occasions studies that an EPA spokeswoman mentioned all of the journeys had been related to company enterprise. Collins was the sole Republican senator to vote against Pruitt's nomination previous year. That review has since expanded to look at the cost of all his travel in 2017 when he frequently traveled first class on domestic and worldwide trips.
I had filed a #FOIA with EPA for any records of death threats made against Scott Pruitt. Mario Caraballo, a military veteran who served as deputy associate administrator at the EPA's Office of Homeland Security, was placed on leave. A September 14, 2017 E&E News story by reporter Kevin Bogardus noted that Sullivan had opened at least four investigations into alleged threats against Pruitt. Greenwalt "definitively stated that Pruitt approves and was supportive of her getting a raise", according to an administration official who has seen the email chain. So the EPA used a special authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act to give the raises.