Updated Jul 5, 2018 - Politics & Policy
The laundry list of scandals that led to Scott Pruitt's resignation
Embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of scandals regarding his spending habits and management decisions, which led to a series of federal probes.
The big picture: Despite his questionable behavior, Pruitt continued to have support from the president. But, as Axios' Jonathan Swan reported at the beginning of May, that support was wavering as the negative coverage piled on, and everyone else in the White House wanted Pruitt out.
Pruitt's laundry list of scandals:
- He reportedly ordered raises for two aides, despite the White House rejecting his request. He later said he was unaware of the raises.
- He spent $3 million of taxpayer funds on an extensive security detail, which was three times bigger than his predecessor's.
- Biometric locks were installed on his office doors for $5,700, Politico reports.
- He came under fire for renting a bedroom near Capitol Hill from a lobbyist for $50 a night. He told the Washington Examiner: "I'm dumbfounded that that's controversial."
- The agency installed a $43,000 private phone booth in his office.
- He has spent over $105,000 on first-class flights, per Politico, citing "threats to his safety."
- He had a tendency to want to use flashing lights and sirens on his motorcade to cut through D.C. traffic — including at least one trip to a popular French restaurant, Le Diplomate.
- A former Comcast lobbyist helped the agency set up a trip to Morocco in December, which cost $100,000, despite original claims that it would cost $40,000.
- Pruitt accepted seats at a University of Kentucky basketball game for him and his son from a billionaire coal executive.
- His staff spent over $1,500 on fountain pens, CNN reported, and more than $1,600 on journals.
- His director of scheduling and advance, Millan Hupp, says Pruitt asked her to perform personal tasks, which included a request for a Trump hotel mattress.
- He told his allies in the conservative movement that Hupp lied in her testimony and could not be trusted implying that "she should not be hired at their institutions," reports the Daily Beast.
- He tried to use his position to get his wife a job as a Chick-fil-A franchisee, per the Washington Post.
- Pruitt requested that his 24/7 security detail help him find "a favorite moisturizing lotion" offered at Ritz-Carlton hotels, and retrieve his dry cleaning without him, the Washington Post reported.
- He sent employees during the work day to "pick up his favorite snacks and treats," per the Daily Beast, including particular finger foods, Greek yogurt, and more.
- He enlisted the help of a top aide to find his wife a job by reaching out to Republican donors, the Washington Post reported. The Post later reported that the aide was told to find a job which offered a salary topping $200,000.
- He put the former treasurer of his political action committee, Elizabeth Beacham White, in charge of the EPA's Office of the Executive Secretariat, which oversees FOIA requests, Politico reported.