Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt's protective detail prompted a call to 911 last year and subsequently broke down the door of a condo he was renting near Capitol Hill fearing he was unconscious, ABC News reported Friday.
The incident took place on the afternoon of March 29, 2017, when Pruitt's security detail said they had been unable to reach him by phone and asked a police officer to call 911. The EPA has refused to discuss the incident for months, according to ABC News.
"They say he's unconscious at this time," the 911 operator is told, according to recordings obtained by ABC News. "I don't know about the breathing portion."
"Engine three, Medic two respond to unconscious person," a radio transmission of the incident said.
The protective detail then broke down the door to the condo where Pruitt leased a bedroom for $50 a night. Sources told ABC News that Pruitt was groggy and rising from a nap. He refused medical attention and a police report was not filed.
Pruitt leased the bedroom, living in the condo during his first six months in Washington. The condo is co-owned by the wife of a top energy lobbyist, Vicki Hart, and her husband, J. Steven Hart, who would not say how much the damages were to the front door of the unit. The EPA has reimbursed Vicki Hart for the damages, the article said.
Other apartments in the building rented for as much as $5,000 per month, according to ABC News. Pruitt reportedly paid $6,100 to a limited liability corporation over the six months he used the condo.
Steven Hart is registered to lobby for several environmental and energy groups, the article stated. The condo was also reportedly used by Pruitt's daughter in 2017 while she worked as an intern at the White House.
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox released a statement from EPA Senior Counsel for Ethics Justina Fugh on Friday that said she didn't "conclude that this is a prohibited gift at all. It was a routine business transaction and permissible even if from a personal friend."
However, Bryson Morgan, who has previously served as investigative counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Congressional Ethics, said he thought the leasing arrangement created a "perception problem."
"It's not just if he is paying market rent," Morgan said in a recent interview. "A short-term lease is expensive. Is he given the ability to end it any day? Is this an arrangement any other person could get on the open market? My assumption would be this situation does not involve the hallmarks of a specific fair market transaction."
Pruitt has faced scrutiny over the spending of his security and travel costs while at the EPA. He has defended the expenses, saying he has faced "unprecedented" security threats from travelers.
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