Walter Shaub Reaction to Ethics Memo from EPA on Scott Pruitt Condo Rental
Campaign Legal Center (CLC) obtained a new ethics memo from the Environmental Protection Agency with additional insight on how Administrator Scott Pruitt identified what he considered to be comparable rentals.
“Putting aside the gift regulations, it is hard to understand why Pruitt thought it was a good idea to rent a condo owned by a campaign contributor who is a lobbyist,” said Walter Shaub, senior director, ethics, at CLC. “The ethics opinion was based on the assumption that Pruitt was leasing only one room. If it turns out Pruitt's daughter was allowed to stay in the other room, he had both rooms in the residence. There’s a big difference in what you’d pay to stay in a house with strangers and what you’d pay to have a place to yourself. The ethics official told me he did not speak with Pruitt before writing his opinion, so the ethics official could not have known for certain whether Pruitt actually used only one of the bedrooms or both. In the new memorandum, the ethics official also provides additional information about how he assessed market rate, which people can now review for themselves and decide whether they agree with that assessment.”