GAO Says Pruitt Violated The Law

Lester Mason
April 16, 2018

Auditors wrote that the E.P.A.'s "failure to comply with a governmentwide statutory requirement that an agency notify the appropriations committees before it spends more than $5,000 for the office of a presidential appointee" was a violation of the law and should be reported to Congress and the president.

The request also comes amid intensifying scrutiny of Perrotta, the former Secret Service agent at the epicenter of most decisions to boost spending on security at the EPA, including around-the-clock bodyguards for Pruitt and biometric locks in his office.

Pruitt's use of $43,000 on a phone booth is only the latest report of his exorbitant spending, which also includes excessive first class travel on the taxpayers' dime. "Further, because EPA obligated appropriated funds in a manner specifically prohibited by law, we conclude that EPA violated the Antideficiency Act". They just looked narrowly at whether he needed congressional sign-off, which they said he did.

Liz Bowman, an EPA spokeswoman, said the agency was "addressing GAO's concern, with regard to Congressional notification about this expense, and will be sending Congress the necessary information this week".

"The Anti-Deficiency Act is a criminal statute, but as a practical matter, it has never been used to prosecute anyone in a situation like this", Clark Pettig, a spokesman for the watchdog group American Oversight, told HuffPost by email.

Pruitt's office said he needed the secure booth to make classified calls
Pruitt's office said he needed the secure booth to make classified calls

Trey Gowdy on Sunday said embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt should go into another line of work if he "didn't want people to be mean" to him. "Like maybe a monk".

EPA spent about $25,000 on the privacy booth and an additional $18,000 on costs associated with modifying a storage closet connected to Pruitt's office to accommodate it.

"It's necessary for me to be able to do my job", he said.

The investigation by Gowdy, the House Oversight Committee Chairman, has continued after reports surfaced that Pruitt had been renting a room in Washington, DC, for below market price from a family with ties to an energy lobbyist.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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