After months of mounting ethics scandals and apparent legal violations that have spurred numerous agency investigations, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday. Pruitt’s ethics violations ranged from using his official position to try and secure job opportunities for his wife to enlisting aides to help him search for housing. Finally, the cumulative effect of his disregard for ethical norms forced Pruitt out of the job, highlighting the important role that watchdog groups and journalists play in exposing executive branch misconduct.
Campaign Legal Center (CLC) has been an active voice from the start of Pruitt’s tenure, exercising our watchdog capabilities to monitor his actions and flagging several instances of Pruitt’s misconduct to the government entities responsible for enforcing ethics laws, including the EPA’s Inspector General and the Office of Government Ethics.
Here is a sample of actions CLC has taken to hold Pruitt accountable.
- June 19, 2018: CLC filed a complaint against Pruitt for using his official position to try and secure a franchise opportunity for his wife at Chick-fil-A.
- June 8, 2018: CLC filed a complaint against Pruitt for using his official position to secure a business opportunity for his wife.
- April 21, 2018: CLC worked with The New York Times to expose the fact that Pruitt’s leadership PAC was being used to fund lavish travel expenditures, including two trips to Hawaii.
- April 5, 2018: CLC was first to obtain and release a memo from an agency ethics official that showed that Pruitt failed to provide officials with a full set of facts surrounding his lease for a Capitol Hill condominium from an energy lobbyist representing a firm with business matters before the EPA.
- September 28, 2017: CLC submitted a FOIA Request on to obtain travel information for Pruitt after The Washington Post reported that at a taxpayer cost of more $58,000, Pruitt had traveled via non-commercial aircraft at least four times since he assumed his position.
- January 18, 2017: During the confirmation process, CLC submitted a letter requesting that Pruitt recuse himself from the lawsuits he filed against the EPA while serving as Oklahoma Attorney General.