EPA inspector general to begin second review of Pruitt's security detail

The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general says it will open a second probe into Administrator Scott Pru...

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 6:43 AM
Updated: Apr 20, 2018 6:43 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general says it will open a second probe into Administrator Scott Pruitt's security detail.

The new review was prompted by accounts that Pruitt's security detail accompanied him on trips to his Tulsa, Oklahoma, home, as well as the Rose Bowl game and a family visit to Disneyland in California.

The analysis will be handled separately from the IG's ongoing investigations into other aspects of Pruitt's travel and security details, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins wrote to Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who requested the review.

The letter did not specify what type of review the inspector general will conduct. It could either perform an audit to determine whether government rules were followed or a criminal investigation into potentially illegal acts.

Asked to comment on the IG investigation, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said Pruitt "follows the same security protocol whether he's in his personal or official capacity."

The agency has previously said Pruitt faces an unprecedented number of threats, including death threats. But Whitehouse and another Democrat, Sen. Tom Carper, recently said they have reviewed documents, including assessments by the Secret Service and EPA's Intelligence Office, casting doubt on the severity of the concerns.

The inspector general's letter suggested the review would look at the level of resources "being devoted to the Administrator's security," as well as whether Pruitt booked pricey hotels that exceeded rates allowed by the government.

A whistleblower told Senate Democrats that Pruitt's hotel selections meant his security detail were not fully reimbursed for their rooms.

The inspector general is already conducting an audit of Pruitt's security and travel practices. It began the probe last summer, after reports emerged that Pruitt frequently traveled to Oklahoma with his security detail, scheduling meetings so that he could spend weekends in Tulsa. The audit was expanded twice, ultimately incorporating all of Pruitt's travel from 2018.

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