A security agent was removed from Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt’s detail shortly after he told the EPA chief he couldn’t use his vehicle’s lights and sirens to cut through Washington, D.C., traffic, CBS News reported Thursday.
Pruitt had reportedly made the request to use the vehicle’s lights and sirens when he was stuck in traffic on his way to an official appointment just weeks after he was confirmed to lead the EPA.
However, special agent Eric Weese, who was leading Pruitt’s security detail, told Pruitt that the sirens could only be used in an emergency, CBS reported.
Less than two weeks later Weese, a 16-year veteran of the agency, was removed from Pruitt’s detail and reassigned within the EPA.
He was replaced by Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, who has been behind controversial decisions like Pruitt needing to fly on first class for security reasons.
EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson told CBS that the agency has “no knowledge of anyone being removed from the detail for not using lights and sirens.”
An EPA spokesman told CBS that the agency doesn’t comment on personnel matters for the security detail.
Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) also sent a letter to Pruitt last month questioning whether an EPA contract awarded to a company linked to Perrotta was in violation of ethics rules.
Pruitt is facing scrutiny over a series of ethics issues, including a deal to rent a condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist for $50 a night.
President Trump reportedly called Pruitt to tell him that the administration was behind him. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told Fox News on Thursday that he “can’t make any statements about the future of Scott Pruitt.”