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Tags: don beyer | epa | scott pruitt | resign | apartment rental | lobbyist

Dem Rep. Don Beyer: EPA's Scott Pruitt Should Resign

Dem Rep. Don Beyer: EPA's Scott Pruitt Should Resign
Rep. Don Beyer, D-VA (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 30 March 2018 03:43 PM

Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said Friday that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt should either resign or be fired following reports that he rented an apartment from a lobbyist last year.

Pruitt paid health lobbyist Vicki Hart $50 a night to stay in an empty condominium unit while living in Washington, D.C. for the past year, though he did not have to pay for nights he did not sleep there.

"The latest outrage is the news that Scott Pruitt secretly worked out a special deal on condo rent with an industry lobbyist who represents companies regulated by the EPA. He apparently did not report the details of his arrangement to ethics counsel at the EPA beforehand, nor to the public," Beyer said in a statement, according to The Hill.

"As he has done over and over again, he showed contempt for transparency, ethical guidelines, and the public interest," he added. "Pruitt must resign. If he refuses to do so, he should be fired immediately."

However, the department's top career ethics official Justina Fugh told the Hill: "I don't conclude that this is a prohibited gift at all. It was a routine business transaction and permissible even if from a personal friend."

Government watchdog group Public Citizen released a statement calling for the agency's Office of Inspector General to conduct an investigation.

"While a market rate rental arrangement between Pruitt and the lobbyist 'power couple' would not pose a violation of conflict of interest or gift rules, neither the EPA nor the Harts would comment on whether the arrangement involved fair market rates," the group wrote in a letter to the OIG.

"If the rental arrangement was anything other, it would at least constitute a violation of the federal statutes and executive branch rules prohibiting gifts to covered officials from prohibited sources … as well as the gift ban under" President Donald Trump's executive order on ethics.

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Politics
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said Friday that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt should either resign or be fired following reports that he rented an apartment from a lobbyist last year.
don beyer, epa, scott pruitt, resign, apartment rental, lobbyist
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2018-43-30
Friday, 30 March 2018 03:43 PM
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