USA ethics office says EPA needs to 'take action' on Pruitt allegations

EPA Intelligence has "not seen any analysis to indicate why the Administrator would be at any greater risk on a commercial airline than any other passenger, or why a trained EPA (Private Security Detail) member could not protect the Administrator in a different location on the aircraft [than in the business or first-class section]", the memo adds.

He sent it to the EPA on Friday.

It notes, among other things, that in Pruitt's "eagerness to hold high-profile political events promoting his agenda", the man who now leads the EPA has often "been less than rigorous in following important procedures, leading to poorly crafted legal efforts that risk being struck down in court".

The EPA requested that Pruitt's security detail be beefed up soon after he took office.

David Apol in an undated picture.

Apol also says that statements from agency ethics officials that Pruitt's living situation did not violate gift rules could now be in question given new information about the arrangement.

The official who issued the unique assertion, Justina Fugh, has mentioned that she didn't have all the data when she made that preliminary assertion. 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.

Officials speaking on behalf of Pruitt have frequently cited to alleged death threats against him when pressed to account for the unprecedentedly expensive-and oftentimes lavish-spending requests issued by Pruitt and his inner circle. 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. Barrasso said he saw the positive impact of Pruitt's actions late last month as he and Pruitt toured a Wyoming coal mine. Apol calls the report "extraordinarily regarding".

If found to be true, he wrote: "it is hard to imagine any action that could more effectively undermine an agency's integrity than punishing or marginalizing employees who strive to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations that safeguard that integrity".

Now, the magazine reports, Pruitt deputies are trying to shield the damning email from the inspector general, which, given the fact that you're reading about it right now, may not be a workable strategy.

Ryan Jackson said the move to use a special authority was all his and that Pruitt had nothing to do with it. If you don't need to fly first class, don't.

The EPA's ethics office falls under the Office of General Counsel, which reports to the administrator's office.

He also wants the agency's watchdog to look into Pruitt's travel, including trips to Oklahoma where he served as the state's attorney general, and raises to aides. The office is already looking into the cost of Pruitt's travel and security, as well as the use of a provision in the Safe Drinking Water Act to appoint senior employees. Everyone working under Pruitt, and anyone that would replace Pruitt as chief of the EPA, would embody similar policies.