Top federal ethics official calls EPA chief Scott Pruitt's conduct 'extremely concerning'

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The federal Office of Government Ethics sent a letter to the EPA's ethics office Friday, which was posted online Monday morning, asking for a review of Pruitt's past housing arrangement, his spending and travel on the job, and his treatment of staff. EPA officials have now forwarded that request to the internal watchdog, according to EPA's response obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Apol wrote particularly to Kevin Minoli, the EPA's principal normal counsel and designated ethics official, in regards to the many studies about Pruitt and is ready to take any corrective motion beneath its authority if it finds that Pruitt violated authorities ethics guidelines. Apol said the EPA needed to "take action to appropriately address any violations".

President Donald Trump should stand behind his EPA chief despite media frenzy over alleged scandals, says a radio talk show host and longtime conservative activist. "I just left coal and energy country, and they love Scott Pruitt", Trump told reporters last week.

Between the inspector general and the Government Accountability Office, at least 5 inquiries have been launched into Pruitt's actions.

"Oh, he has too big of a security detail?" It was unclear whether the move, first reported by Politico, was triggered by the release of information related to Pruitt's security.

Writing to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), fellow panel members Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) reference several internal EPA documents - which they kept confidential "in an abundance of caution to protect any specific ongoing security efforts" - that allude to the kind of threats that have not traditionally triggered 24/7 protection.

The Associated Press reported last week that Mr. Pruitt has spent about $3 million on security, a figure confirmed by The New York Times.

On Tuesday afternoon the E.P.A. acknowledged that the agency official who had signed off on the February assessment questioning Mr. Pruitt's security threats had been dismissed. But regulatory rollbacks aren't always immediately successful, and most of Pruitt's actions have been met with a wall of resistance in both the public sphere and in courts. Pruitt had planned to travel to Mexico this week, according to multiple agency officials, but has postponed the visit.

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Most recently, Pruitt's decision to rent a room from the wife of a powerful lobbyist at well below market price has come under scrutiny.

Elkins has also opened an audit into whether Pruitt improperly used authority granted under the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide massive raises to two of his closest aides.

That's on top of previously ongoing investigations into the administrator's outsized travel spending and purchase of a $43,000 soundproof privacy booth purchased for the administrator to make private phone calls.

The EPA's internal watchdog began looking into Pruitt's frequent travel back to Oklahoma in August of previous year.

"Pruitt.has fought against federal overreach", Inhofe wrote.

The Hart's were also donors and fundraisers for Pruitt while he was a politician in Oklahoma.

"They may think they can yell fake news - those 30-second ads are going to be so devastating that Republicans are going to bleed support in the fall and they're not going to be able to do anything about it", he continued.

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