Pruitt’s security detail cost taxpayers millions: report
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly cost taxpayers millions of dollars due to his extensive use of a security detail.
EPA documents and sources revealed that the agency spent about $3 million on a 20-person, full-time security detail and travel expenses for Pruitt, according to a new analysis by The Associated Press.
The report comes as Pruitt is under intense scrutiny over reports that he paid $50 a night to stay in a condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist. Pruitt has also come under fire for his use of a security detail that is three times the size of his predecessor’s, as well as his first-class travel habits.
The AP reported that soon after joining the administration, Pruitt appointed EPA Senior Special Agent Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta to head his security detail. Perrotta is reportedly responsible for the expansion of Pruitt’s security detail, and approved the director’s first-class travel.
Perrotta also reportedly coordinated the installation of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth for Pruitt’s office, despite the EPA headquarters already having such a booth elsewhere in the building.
Members of Pruitt’s security detail reportedly hit their annual salary caps of approximately $160,000 because of overtime requirements.
Pruitt also reportedly took a security detail on family trips to Disneyland and a Rose Bowl game.
An EPA official told the AP that Pruitt flew coach when he was flying home on his own dime, like to attend Oklahoma Sooners football games on weekends.
Pruitt has defended his decisions as ethical and necessary, but faces growing calls to resign from Democrats.
President Trump expressed his support for Pruitt this week, but also noted he will “take a look at” current controversies.
The AP also reported that Pruitt’s large security detail sometimes diverted officers from investigating environmental crimes.
Updated: 8:33 p.m.
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