April 19, 2018

Inspector General to Investigate Pruitt’s Unprecedented Use of EPA Security Detail on Personal Travel

Inquiry requested by Senator Whitehouse will cover trips to Disneyland, the Rose Bowl, and college basketball games

Washington, DC – The EPA Inspector General will investigate Administrator Scott Pruitt’s use of his official security detail on personal trips to Disneyland, the Rose Bowl, and college basketball games.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) requested the investigation in a March 20 letter after obtaining six weeks of schedules and other documents providing snapshots of Pruitt’s unprecedented use of his taxpayer-funded security detail.  Whitehouse’s request also noted that multiple sources have indicated to his office that the Administrator has frequently requested per diem lodging expenses above the federal government’s established daily rate.

“The documents and information that have been provided to me raise many troubling questions,” Whitehouse wrote to the Inspector General in March.  “While I consider matters of personal security to be extremely serious, personal security should never be used as a pretext to obtain special treatment.  I urge you to consider the information I have provided you in this letter as well as the questions I raise as you pursue your investigations of Administrator Pruitt’s travel to Oklahoma and his private security detail.”

In a letter to Whitehouse dated Tuesday, Inspector General Arthur Elkins writes, “We have determined that the issues raised in your letter are within the authority of the OIG to review, and we will do so.  We will conduct the requested engagement separate from our audits of the Administrator’s travel and security detail, so as to not delay the completion of our ongoing work in those areas.  Elements of your request may be within the scope of our ongoing audits.  However, as those audits are still ongoing, we cannot discuss specifics beyond what is stated in the project notification memorandums.”

“The new engagement will review the Administrator’s personal travel and various other elements of your request,” Elkins adds.

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