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Dems seek probe into Pruitt aide banned from banking

Dems seek probe into Pruitt aide banned from banking
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Two House Democrats are asking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) internal watchdog to investigate an adviser to Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA eases permitting for modifications to polluting facilities | Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire | Trump order strips workplace protections from civil servants EPA eases permitting for modifications to polluting facilities Overnight Energy: Barrett punts on climate, oil industry recusals | Ex-EPA official claims retaliation in lawsuit | Dems seek to uphold ruling ousting Pendley MORE who was banned nationally last year from the banking sector.

Albert “Kell” Kelly used to lead SpiritBank, based in Pruitt’s hometown of Tulsa, Okla. The two have known each other for years and Kelly got Pruitt financing for a mortgage and to help buy a minor league baseball team.

Pruitt hired Kelly last year as an adviser for the Superfund program, shortly before the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) settled unknown allegations against Kelly by banning him from banking for a year.

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“Mr. Kelly came to this position without the necessary qualifications, and with serious and still-unexplained red flags, and his conduct has raised ethical, regulatory and potential legal issues that we believe your office should examine,” Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyIRS closes in on final phase of challenging tax season Virginia voter registration website back up after outage on last day to register Judge issues nationwide injunction against Postal Service changes MORE (D-Va.) wrote to the EPA’s Office of Inspector General, seeking an investigation into Kelly’s hiring and management of Superfund.

They said that Kelly’s “only apparent connections to environmental regulation were his investments in companies deemed by the EPA to be responsible for the creation of Superfund sites and his longstanding friendship and financial relationship with Administrator Pruitt.”

The Democrats questioned if Kelly disclosed his FDIC troubles to federal hiring managers.

Kelly recently downplayed the FDIC action in an interview with the Montana Standard, and said he agreed to it only because he had run out of money to fight the regulators.

“My problem with the FDIC emanated from one singular transaction in 2010. They didn't like it,” Kelly said. “The bank didn't lose any money. The bank made money. There was nothing untoward about it.”