WASHINGTON — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was the target of numerous federal ethics investigations. Allegations included the eyebrow-raising — looking to obtain a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel — and graver ones, such as accounts that he used his office to try to drum up high-dollar business opportunities for his wife.
Some of the key allegations:
THE USED MATTRESS: Pruitt directed his then-aide, Millan Hupp, to call the Trump International Hotel in Washington about buying a used mattress, Hupp told staffers of a House oversight committee, which is investigating the EPA chief. Hupp also apartment-hunted for her then-boss. Staffers also reported being asked to pick up dry cleaning, find a particular lotion and help arrange personal travel for Pruitt and his family. Federal ethics codes bar staffers from conducting personal errands for bosses.
CHICK-FIL-A: Pruitt directed Hupp's sister, Sydney, who also worked for him at EPA, to reach out to a senior executive at Chick-fil-A about a "business opportunity" on Pruitt's behalf. Pruitt was interested in acquiring a franchise for the chicken restaurant for his wife. Pruitt laughed off a reporter's questions about the matter, saying, "We love Chick-fil-A." Federal ethics codes prohibit officials from using their office for personal gain.
SECURITY: Pruitt and the EPA cited the risk of attacks by people opposed to his policies to explain unusual and costly security decisions, including premium-class flights for Pruit and a bodyguard and a $43,000 soundproof booth for private phone calls. He also demanded 24-hour-a-day protection from armed officers, resulting in a swollen 20-member security detail that blew through overtime budgets and racked up expenses of more than $3 million.