The Associated Press reports:
Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s concern with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes. Altogether, the agency spent millions of dollars for a 20-member full-time detail that is more than three times the size of his predecessor’s part-time security contingent.
On weekend trips home for Sooners football games, when taxpayers weren’t paying for his ticket, the EPA official said Pruitt flew coach. He sometimes used a companion pass obtained with frequent flyer miles accumulated by Ken Wagner, a former law partner whom Pruitt hired as a senior adviser at EPA at a salary of more than $172,000. Taxpayers still covered the airfare for the administrator’s security detail.
Pruitt’s predecessor, Gina McCarthy, had a security detail that numbered about a half dozen, less than a third the size of Pruitt’s. She flew coach and was not accompanied by security during her off hours, like on weekend trips home to Boston.
Pruitt said he needed to bill taxpayers for first class flights for safety reasons. But when taxpayers weren’t paying for his ticket, he flew coach, sometimes using frequent flyer miles from a senior adviser he hired at EPA at a salary of more than $172K. https://t.co/8ukZpQIMPB
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) April 7, 2018
More from the AP: The EPA demoted or reassigned officials who questioned some of Pruitt’s proposed expenditures — including a $100,000-a-month private jet membership, a bulletproof vehicle and $70,000 in bulletproof furniture. https://t.co/OilgtM66rI
— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) April 6, 2018