If only for his dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency’s primary mission of saving our country’s natural resources from further degradation to benefit his cronies in the energy industry, EPA Secretary Scot Pruitt would already be a reprehensible person.
When you add on top of that his arrogant waste of taxpayer dollars on first-class commercial flights so as to avoid being confronted with his shameful and unpopular environmental policies by irate fellow passengers who actually want to breathe clean air and drink unsullied water, he qualifies among the worst of the swamp dwellers in President Trump’s cabinet, vying with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for the top spot in the most hated administration member rankings.
Pruitt’s penchant for scandal broadened this week to include the sweetheart accommodation deal he made with the wife of a top energy industry lobbyist to rent a bedroom in the Washington DC condo she co-owned for $50 a night, a price way below the average market rent of $5,000 per month for accommodations in the Capitol Hill building.
If the subsidization of a cabinet secretary’s rent by a lobbyist from the industry he’s ostensibly purposed with regulating isn’t bad enough, ABC News has just revealed a previously unknown incident at the condo Pruitt rented that forced the EPA to waste even more money on Pruitt’s behalf.
Apparently, Pruitt had retired to the condo for a late afternoon nap about a year ago — a luxury not afforded to most government workers — when his staff attempted to contact him for an important message. After attempting unsuccessfully to reach him by phone, a member of his security team went to the condo and banged loudly on the front door of the building to get Pruitt’s attention.
When there was no answer to the repeated attempts to rouse the cabinet member, the security detail assumed that the unresponsive secretary was unconscious and needed rescue. They asked a Capitol Hill police officer to call 911 which dispatched emergency responders to the site.
In the meantime, Pruitt’s security team broke through the condo’s glass front entrance and rushed to the third-floor apartment where Pruitt was snoozing away. There they found the EPA Secretary woozily awaking from his nap.
No explanation was ever given as to why Pruitt was unresponsive or what was so important that his security detail needed to break into the building, but, in the end, the EPA was forced to reimburse the condo association $2,460 to replace the destroyed glass-paneled front door.
Given that the public perception of entitlement to extravagant travel and accommodation expenses has already led to the downfall of Tom Price, the former Secretary of Health and Human Services, and David Shulkin, the recently fired head of Veterans Affairs, one has to wonder whether this latest expense scandal can lead to Pruitt’s ouster as well.
Yet, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson still in place despite similarly over the top expenditures, it seems that as long as you continue to praise the president and refrain from criticizing his policies, you can do anything and keep your job.