Emails Show Pruitt Hatched Plan With Aide To Score Wife Chick-Fil-A Franchise

Congressional Quarterly/CQ-Roll Call Group

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt tried to score his wife, Marlyn Pruitt, a gig as a Chick-Fil-A franchisee, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

According to a slew of emails recently released under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club, Pruitt had his executive scheduler Sydney Hupp last May contact the president and chairman of Chick-fil-A, Dan Cathy, about a “potential business opportunity” with Pruitt.

Cathy, well-known for his support of conservative and Christian causes, has met Pruitt in the past and responded within an hour. A phone call was arranged between Pruitt, Cathy and a Chick-fil-A attorney, but that was later cancelled, according to the Post. Pruitt eventually had a phone call with a person in the company’s legal department, but the efforts did not prove fruitful for Marlyn Pruitt.

“Administrator Pruitt’s wife started, but did not complete, the Chick-fil-A franchisee application,” Chick-fil-A representative Carrie Kurlander told the Post.

According to multiple current and former EPA staffers who spoke to the Post, Pruitt was keen on Marlyn Pruitt finding a job at the time because of the expenses associated with having a house in Washington, D.C. and back in Oklahoma. And Pruitt didn’t halt efforts to find his wife work with the Chick-fil-A venture, either. Emails show he also reached out to the head of Concordia, a non-profit organization, last year, and Marlyn Pruitt was hired to help plan a conference for the organization last September, according to the Post.

Pruitt’s use of his official position and public aides to secure work for his wife is just one of several recent reports that’s ruffled ethics experts’ feathers.

Pruitt reportedly had his top aide, Millan Hupp, Sydney Hupp’s sister, help him search for housing for him and his wife during work hours. Millan Hupp also told lawmakers last month that Pruitt had her try to obtain a “used mattress” from the Trump International Hotel and asked her to book vacation flights for him during her personal time.

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