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Pruitt lived in condo co-owned by energy lobbyist’s wife: report

Pruitt lived in condo co-owned by energy lobbyist’s wife: report
© Greg Nash

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOklahoma AG resigns following news of divorce, alleged affair Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues Scientific integrity, or more hot air? MORE used to rent a Washington condo co-owned by the wife of a lobbyist with business ties to the agency, ABC News reported.

The condo in a townhouse near the Capitol is owned by a company that counts Vicki Hart as an owner, according to ABC.

The EPA and J. Steven Hart, Vicki’s husband and an energy lobbyist, did not say how much Pruitt paid to rent the property for much of his first year in office, though he said he believed it was market rate. Vicki Hart did not respond to ABC's request for comment.

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Vicki Hart is also a lobbyist, though her clients do not have business before EPA. Steven Hart, CEO of Williams and Jensen, has clients with EPA business, including Cheniere Energy Inc. and Norfolk Southern, and is a major Republican donor.

Bryson Morgan, the former investigative counsel at the House Office of Congressional Ethics, told ABC that the arrangement could create a problem, depending on whether Pruitt paid a low price for the rental.

“I think it certainly creates a perception problem, especially if Mr. Hart is seeking to influence the agency,” he said. “That’s why there is a gift rule.”

The EPA did not respond to ABC’s requests for comment.

Pruitt has been involved in a handful controversies in his time at EPA, including spending more than $100,000 in taxpayer funds on first-class travel and paying more than $40,000 to put a soundproof booth in his office.