Ethics office scrutinizing Pruitt's luxury condo deal

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has declined to certify a financial disclosure report from former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittSierra Club sues EPA over claim that climate change 'is 50 to 75 years out' EPA on 'forever chemicals': Let them drink polluted water EPA moving ahead with science transparency rule by 'early next year' MORE, citing a $50-a-night deal he secured for a Washington condo, according to The Associated Press.

The OGE said in documents released Tuesday that federal authorities never confirmed whether Pruitt's condo arrangement with a lobbyist’s wife was an ethical business arrangement, the AP reported. Pruitt resigned in July amid allegations that he used his position for personal enrichment and favors.


The $50-a-night fee applied only to nights when Pruitt stayed at the condo, according to the AP. He rented the unit from a company whose co-owner is married to J. Steven Hart, who at the time was chairman of the Washington lobbying firm Williams & Jensen.

After Pruitt’s resignation, the EPA’s ethics watchdog ended its investigation of the housing arrangement without making a determination. The OGE said that means it is unable to rule on whether Pruitt should have reported it as a gift, according to the AP.

The EPA's internal watchdog also closed a second investigation covering several ethics allegations against Pruitt, including that he made subordinates find him personal housing, secure a mattress for his personal use and seek a “business opportunity” for his wife with Chick-fil-A.

“Mr. Pruitt resigned prior to being interviewed by investigators. For that reason, the OIG deemed that the result of the investigation was inconclusive. The case will be closed,” the EPA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) wrote for both investigations.

Neither the OGE nor the EPA immediately responded to requests for comment.

The news comes a day after Pruitt’s successor, Andrew Wheeler, recused himself from review of a mining project represented by his former law firm.