Lobbyist couple cited for not having proper permits to rent room to Pruitt
The lobbyist couple who leased a room in their townhome to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt has been cited by the Washington, D.C., government for not having the proper licenses.
The property owners did not hold the business license enquired to rent out the property, the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs said in a statement obtained by CNN on Thursday.
Health-care lobbyist Vicki Hart co-owns the condo and was fined $2,034, according to the statement
Hart is married to Steven Hart, who has lobbied the EPA.
Reports broke last week that Pruitt rented a room in the condo for $50 a night, launching an ethics scandal that has lawmakers calling for his resignation.
Pruitt’s adult daughter also lived with him for a period of time and Pruitt was reportedly late on some of the payments, prompting complaints from Hart.
The EPA’s top ethics official said the lease aligned with ethics rules and did not constitute as a “gift” under federal regulations.
Pruitt said he was “dumbfounded” that him renting a condo linked to a top lobbyist was controversial.
In recent weeks, the EPA chief has faced a series of accusations of ethical violations and damaging news stories.
The New York Times reported Thursday that at least five EPA officials were demoted or reassigned after raising questions about Pruitt’s spending habits or management.