Former EPA Chief Pruitt Denies Getting Improper Gifts, Income

In this June 21, 2018, photo, then-Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (CN) – In a financial disclosure report released by the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, former administrator Scott Pruitt denied that he received gifts or other financial perks while overseeing the agency.

Pruitt resigned his post on July 5 after repeated gaffes and reports of ethical lapses by the former administrator.

According to emails and other correspondence released through Freedom of Information Act requests earlier this year, Pruitt allegedly used his round-the-clock security detail as a personal errand service – at one time asking guards to pick up dry cleaning or other personal items like lotion or high-end pens.

He also reportedly reaped the benefits of a sweetheart real estate deal for a condo in Washington, D.C.

Pruitt allegedly stayed in the condo – which belonged to the wife of an energy industry lobbyist – for the rock-bottom price of $50 per night after first becoming administrator.

Other emails revealed Pruitt sought tickets to the Rose Bowl and with the help of his staff, arranged for his wife, Marilyn Pruitt, to moonlight as an event planner for a gathering where Pruitt was a keynote speaker.

Marilyn Pruitt was eventually paid $2,000 plus travel expenses after Pruitt closed the deal with Matthew Swift, chief executive officer at Concordia, a nonprofit which advocates for public-private partnerships in government.

“To the extent that I am aware of specific allegations, I dispute the facts asserted and, accordingly, am not aware of reportable gifts,” Pruitt said on Wednesday.

A month before Pruitt resigned, the scrutiny on the administrator steadily picked up steam.

Reports of the perks he and his wife received prompted several House Democrats on June 8 to request that the FBI and DOJ investigate Pruitt’s activities.

According to Justina Fugh, an ethics official at the EPA, Pruitt has asked for and received an extension to file his termination report which covers 2018.

Pruitt must submit that report by November 5.

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