In the never-ending stream of ethical scandals clouding EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s tenure, more bombshells dropped Monday and Tuesday as reports surfaced of Pruitt’s secret calendar, his jockeying to get his wife a cushy job and his manipulation of staffers to save himself money.
According to a CNN report, Pruitt maintained a secret calendar along with his public one, scrubbing events from the public version that he felt would reflect poorly on him.
Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt’s former deputy chief of staff for operations, told CNN that Pruitt would regularly convene staffers to go through his schedule with a fine-toothed comb to remove any unscrupulous-looking events.
Appointments like Pruitt’s meetings with Cardinal George Pell—who was later charged with multiple counts of sexual assault—and meals with industry bigwigs were deleted from the public record.
Per CNN, these actions could be in violation of federal law prohibiting “falsifying records.”
Simultaneously, a Washington Post report chronicles a host of Pruitt’s previously unknown ethical misdeeds, including using his post as EPA administrator to try to rustle up his wife Marlyn a job paying at least $200,000.
Pruitt reportedly directed former associate administrator for the Office of Policy Samantha Dravis to contact the Republican Attorneys General Association as part of the job search for his wife. Dravis declined, according to her testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, but added that Pruitt insisted that whichever job found for his wife top $200,000 in salary. Per the Washington Post, Dravis ultimately landed Marlyn Pruitt at the Judicial Crisis Network, though the salary fell short of her husband’s demands.
During her testimony, Dravis reportedly added that Pruitt instructed her and another top aide, both of whom are lawyers, to find a loophole in his dubious $50 per night D.C. rental agreement when he vacated the premises early, so he wouldn’t have to pay the penalty fine.
In another penny-pinching episode, Chmielewski told the Washington Post that Pruitt routinely forced aides to charge his expenses to their personal credit cards instead of his.
For example, Pruitt reportedly stuck former scheduler Sydney Hupp with a $600 charge for a hotel room for his family during the transition. When Hupp told Pruitt’s chief of staff Ryan Jackson of the payment to get repaid, he told her that the transition reimbursement window had passed. The incident concluded with Jackson leaving $600 in cash in Hupp’s desk drawer.
Per CNN, Pruitt is now facing at least 14 federal investigations into his management and spending habits as EPA administrator.