The two top officials in charge of security and toxic waste cleanups at the Environmental Protection Agency have left their jobs. This news comes as embattled EPA chief Scott Pruitt fights off serious ethics complaints.
In fact, last week Pruitt told lawmakers that the two subordinates in question were to blame for his ethics violations. Talk about throwing your employees under the bus! It’s a mystery how the Trump administration manages to keep getting people to join up, given that it seems to be career suicide to go within a hundred feet of the White House these days.
Pruitt, if you haven’t already heard, has come under fire for spending big on first-class plane tickets, and for demanding round-the-clock protection from a security detail many times larger than any previous EPA chief. (The EPA has hired all these bodyguards for Pruitt even though they have no real evidence of a credible threat to his safety.)
Taxpayer money paid for bodyguards to accompany Scott Pruitt to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl, among other dubious non-work-related destinations.
Pruitt also spent $43,000 of the public’s money on a soundproof booth in his office for making private phone calls, and the cost of his 20 member security team has approached $3 million dollars already.
And yet somehow he claims this was all the fault of the guy who cleans up the toxic waste?
A likely story.
Scott Pruitt has also been criticized for authorizing massive raises to friends who work for him. His lawyer, Sarah Greenwalt, got a $66,000 bump in her salary, and his scheduling director Millian Hupp saw her own salary jump from $48,000 to $114,590.
Pruitt acknowledged that Hupp was “a friend” but denied the allegations that he had given her the extraordinary raise to thank her for helping him find a good deal on an apartment in DC.
Although Pruitt had claimed he had nothing to do with the raises and never authorized them, he eventually had to come clean about his involvement in the kickbacks. Look, the DC real estate market is rough, but it’s not “Thanks for the apartment tip, here’s $66k” rough.
Now it seems that the lackeys Pruitt had blamed for his excessive spending have been given the boot. In statements made on Tuesday, Pruitt praised the two men, Pasquale Perrotta and Albert Kelly, and gave no reason for their unexpected departures.
But we’ve all been there; your incompetent boss wants you to take the fall for a foolish decision he made. You refuse. And then BOOM! “We’re sorry to see you go! Keep in touch!”
It seems even DC bureaucrats have to put up with the indignities of the modern workplace.
Despite all this chaos, Pruitt remains in his post at the EPA. He’s a master deflector, blaming subordinates for every one of his ethical blunders. It’ll be interesting to see if he can keep up that tactic now that his two main scapegoats are gone.