GAO: Scott Pruitt Illegally Built "Privacy Booth"


The agency did not send advance notice of this purchase to Congressional committees.

A report by the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) found that Pruitt's $43,000 booth, referred to as the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), "violated" the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which caps agency redecorations at $5,000 without prior approval. "Further, because EPA obligated appropriated funds in a manner specifically prohibited by law, we conclude that EPA violated the Antideficiency Act". The privacy booth is among several unusual security precautions taken by Pruitt that are now under scrutiny.

The Republicans asked for an array of documents about Pruitt's security detail and its lead member, Pasquale Perrotta, citing "new information" in a letter Friday to the Environmental Protection Agency administrator. "EPA must give a full public accounting of this expenditure and explain why the agency thinks it was complying with the law".

Democrats and a few Republicans have been calling on Pruitt either to resign or be fired since late last month, when media reports first disclosed that he had rented a Capitol Hill condo tied to an oil and gas lobbyist at the bargain rate of $50 a night.

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Police originally released a photo of the victim to the public in the hope that someone could help correctly identify them. It was not immediately clear whether he had been reported missing in Sri Lanka, where his immediate family lives.

The EPA's Office of Inspector General also released documents on Monday showing the agency's chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, signed off on controversial pay raises for three of Pruitt's staff, including a raise of $29,000 to above $114,000 for his scheduling director, Millan Hupp.

EPA representatives said they were cooperating with the request.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox did not respond to a request for comment on the hires. Included in that amount was a $36,000 military flight so Pruitt could join President Donald Trump at a Cincinnati event, then make it to NY in time for his flight to Rome.