April 19, 2018

The continuing story of Scott Pruitt and Other People's Money!

You will be shocked that Scott Pruitt traveled in coach when he had to pay for his own trips home to Oklahoma. Suddenly, the threat from the hoi polloi was no big deal. (Don't worry, his large security staff still traveled with him!)

Pruitt also used frequent flyer miles accrued by Ken Wagner, a former law partner Pruitt hired at EPA, and flew on a companion pass.

EPA ethics lawyer Kevin Minoli confirmed that Pruitt flew on a companion pass during the personal flights, reimbursing Wagner for a $5.60 airline fee and half the cost of the adviser’s ticket.

Former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub said Wednesday the companion tickets provided to Pruitt likely violated a federal prohibition that bars officials from accepting gifts from their subordinates exceeding $10. Shaub said the value of the gift is determined not by what Wagner actually paid for the ticket, but what the full market value would have been had the ticket been purchased with cash.

“EPA’s discussion of the discounted price that the donor paid is disingenuous,” said Shaub, who resigned last year after clashing with President Donald Trump on ethics issues. “In this case, EPA should look to see what Pruitt would have had to pay if he had purchased the ticket on the day that he accepted the gift of free airfare from his subordinate.”

Pruitt is under many investigations. But Trump likes him, so his job is safe for now.

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