EPA Violated Multiple Laws in Securing Scott Pruitt's Privacy Booth, GAO Finds

Mayors EPA move to roll back vehicle emissions standards threatens Utahns’ health air quality improvements

Because the EPA did not report its spending on the booth to Congress, GAO also found that the EPA violated the Antideficiency Act, which forbids an agency from spending beyond legally available amounts.

Though Congressional notification was the only subject of the brief, GAO also remarked that EPA already has two Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIFs)-installations through which classified information can be shared.

EPA spent about $25,000 on the privacy booth and an additional $18,000 on costs associated with modifying a storage closet connected to Pruitt's office to accommodate it.

The EPA had argued that the nearly $25,000 customized phone booth - which required painting, concrete and electrical work totaling more than $18,000 to reconfigure the small closet area where it was placed - was not part of a redecoration of Pruitt's office and should not be subject to the $5,000 cap.

Pruitt has taken several security precautions that are now under scrutiny, including his frequent use of first-class flights to avoid hostile interactions with other travelers.

He spent almost $6,000 buying specialized locks requiring fingerprints to open a door, the Associated Press reported previous year. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees EPA.

"An illegal privacy booth to conduct secret discussions with his polluter friends does nothing to help our health or environment", Udall said Monday.

"Scott Pruitt likes to talk about returning the EPA to the rule of law, but it turns out he's better at breaking it than following it". The probe into the spending was originally being handled by EPA's inspector general, but the watchdog subsequently passed it on to GAO. "Accordingly, section 710 [of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act] applied to this obligation and EPA was required to notify the appropriations committees of its proposed obligation", Thomas Armstong, the GAO's General Counsel wrote in a letter to Democratic lawmakers on Monday. In a letter to GAO, EPA argued the booth was not furnishing the office but merely equipment necessary for Pruitt to do his job.

In authorizing the raises, the EPA effectively overruled White House officials who had objected to at least two of the salary increases.

The GAO conclusion that the size of the expenditure for the soundproof booth was illegal is the latest Washington brouhaha over Pruitt's spending practices. However, Chief of employees Ryan Jackson signed the kinds approving the raises.

The cost of the soundproof phone booth came to $43,238.68.

The IG said that Monday's report was meant to "provide certain factual information" but "does not present any conclusions or recommendations".

Pruitt's alleged high-spending ways have prompted lawmakers to call on the GAO to look into transactions like the phone booth.

EPA officials said that almost all of the raises came after these aides had taken on additional responsibilities or had been promoted. "There will be some accountability".

Related:

  • VAR awards penalty during half time of Bundesliga match

    VAR awards penalty during half time of Bundesliga match

    But, as it turned out the home supporters were in fact protesting against Bundesliga fixtures being played on Monday nights. The penalty was given for a handball by Marc-Oliver Kempf that the VAR noticed after the halftime whistle had blown.
    Louis police seek three suspects in Sprint store robbery

    Louis police seek three suspects in Sprint store robbery

    The man is said to have been wearing a black hoodie, black trousers , black sunglasses and a black bandana covering his face. Jesse Carrillo said no one was injured during the robbery at the US Bank which was reported to police around 1:30 p.m.
    Former-First Lady Barbara Bush declines medical treatment

    Former-First Lady Barbara Bush declines medical treatment

    Abigail Adams, wife of John Adams, the nation's second president, was also a mother of the sixth president, John Quincy Adams. She has suffered in recent years from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, he said Monday.
  • MP calls on IEBC Chair Chebukati to resign

    MP calls on IEBC Chair Chebukati to resign

    He further alleged that Ruto wanted suspended IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba back at the commission's helm by all means. By law, the commission must have four active members to carry out business.
    Bachelor party in Kiev — unforgettable impressions are guaranteed

    Bachelor party in Kiev — unforgettable impressions are guaranteed

    Spectacular dancers will complement the spectacular dance of any composition, leaving an unforgettable impression in your memory. A special chic to the club is given by colorful and incendiary performances, over which a professional choreographer works.
    True Love Exists!

    True Love Exists!

    Moreover, for the first time, Ivy and David even did not see each other, due to the fact that their communication was online. It should be noticed that these two people began relations just as friends, as they lived in different countries.
  • Bruce McArthur charged with 8th count of first-degree murder

    Bruce McArthur charged with 8th count of first-degree murder

    The murder of Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam has now been added to the growing list of charges against Toronto resident McArthur. He said the victims in those cases matched the general profile of the first seven men McArthur is accused of killing.
    Jerry Jones on Dez Bryant Release: Decision in 'Best Interest' of Cowboys

    Jerry Jones on Dez Bryant Release: Decision in 'Best Interest' of Cowboys

    The Ravens have already signed Michael Crabtree and John Brown this offseason in an attempt to rebuild their receiving corps. Last season, the 2010 first-round pick out of Oklahoma State finished with 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns.
    Microgaming’s vision of the future with virtual reality

    Microgaming’s vision of the future with virtual reality

    It is true that this is only a prototype and Microgaming has yet to actually make a huge cultural impact with a device like this. At the moment, players are basically projected into a virtual reality world through the use of this technology.
  • What Got Mark Hamill to Return to the Star Wars Galaxy?

    What Got Mark Hamill to Return to the Star Wars Galaxy?

    While Luke will probably have a key role to play in the new movies, it’s certain the new actors will dominate the storyline. He felt he needed to know what all those years have done to Luke even if the material doesn’t get told in the actual movie.
    Global Resource Coin

    Global Resource Coin

    In addition, from the year 2018 GRC’s cryptocurrency rate is expected to grow due to its social usefulness and relevance. In order to do this, you need to have a considerable amount of money, a special financial education and a special license.
    The first capital of casinos

    The first capital of casinos

    The reputation of Macao as the place of the famous casinos, brothels and clans triads selling opium was born in the 18th century. And it lasted until the 60s of the 20th century, while a powerful businessman Stanley Ho became interested in the region.

Comments

Other news