ibusinesslines.com November 19, 2018

SD ag groups scrutinize EPA Administrator Pruitt's visit

16 June 2018, 01:43 | Justin Tyler

Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images North America

Aaron P. Bernstein  Getty Images North America

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt enlisted a top aide to help his wife find a job a year ago, the Washington Post reports, a potential violation of federal ethics rules that prohibit public officials from using their office for private gain.

"There seems to be no bottom to this ethics catastrophe with Scott Pruitt".

He said no other administration would allow Pruitt to keep his job.

A spokesman for the Judicial Crisis Network confirmed Tuesday that it employed the onetime school nurse "temporarily as an independent contractor, " but it did not disclose via e-mail how long she worked there or what she was paid.

"We thank Administrator Pruitt for coming to Kansas and listening to our concerns and current challenges", Renew Kansas Chairman and Western Plains Energy CEO Derek Peine, said.

"It's important to hear directly from the community that EPA regulates, and today we heard from farmers and utility workers about the impact of the Agency's work", Pruitt said in a statement. Taxpayers spent more than $100,000 on the trip, which included private tours of the Vatican and meals at some of Rome's finest restaurants.

After touring a farm operated by Adam Schindler and his family in Reliance, Pruitt addressed a group of about 50 farmers and other people with interests in agriculture in a building on the Schindler property.

Pruitt faces somewhere around a dozen investigations into things like first-class travel costs and relationships with lobbyists, and it was recently reported Pruitt used his office to try to get his wife a Chick-fil-A franchise in Tulsa. But the search and hiring raises more ethics questions about Scott Pruitt's use of EPA staff as well as his contacts with GOP contributors and outside allies for his personal benefit. "So, you know, we could - that might be a good swap".

When asked whether EPA has the authority to repeal the finding, Pruitt said Congress has never acted on the issue or spoken on it.

Ingraham, herself a key media ally of Trump, said Pruitt was "hurting the president".

"We had one farmer that was pretty outspoken and he told him we were mad as hell and we are", McCauley said,"he just had nerve to say it".

Inhofe told the paper he has requested a face-to-face meeting with Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, to discuss the allegations of ethical misconduct dogging him, saying that Pruitt would be "in a very awkward position not to answer to me, and to answer me truthfully", if they sat down together.

In 2017, for example, he approached Deason on whether the Dallas-based investor would be able to hire Marlyn Pruitt.

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