GAO: Cost Of EPA Chief's Phone Booth Broke The Law

GAO: Cost Of EPA Chief's Phone Booth Broke The Law

The chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is seeking details about U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt's use of four different agency email addresses.

In a so-called "government watchful", EPA inspector-general Arthur Elkins Jr. explained his team had examined employees records for 6 workers who were hired or had received increases beneath a provision of the Safe Drinking Water Act as Pruitt arrived to the bureau a year ago.

EPA spokesman Liz Bowman said the agency is addressing the concern raised by the Government Accountability Office "with regard to congressional notification about this expense, and will be sending Congress the necessary information this week".

To view the full article, register now.

The cost of the soundproof phone booth came to $43,238.68. "EPA's failure to make the necessary notification is the only subject of this opinion".

The agency violated the law by using more than $5,000 of fiscal 2017 appropriated funds for an unintended objective without giving lawmakers advance notice, GAO investigators wrote in a report released Monday.

In its explanation to the GAO included in the report, the EPA equated the booth to other necessary office supplies and argued it was needed to "support specific mission requirements" and allow Pruitt to carry out agency business "without concern that classified, deliberative, privileged, or sensitive information might inadvertently be disclosed to those who are not meant to receive such information". EPA's inspector general has at least five ongoing Pruitt-related probes, while the House oversight panel on Friday demanded interviews with five of the EPA administrator's closest aides.

Jackson increased the aides' pay using a special authority the EPA has under the Safe Drinking Water Act, after the White House rejected the EPA's request to make the raises through the normal procedure for political appointees.

"GAO recognizes the requirement to protect classified material and draws no conclusions regarding whether the installation of the privacy booth was the only, or the best way for EPA to provide a secure telephone line for the Administrator".

Democrats on Capitol Hill had requested the legal opinion from GAO on Pruitt's phone.

EPA Chief of Employees Ryan Jackson.

"An illegal privacy booth to conduct secret discussions with his polluter friends does nothing to help our health or environment", Udall said Monday. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees EPA.

"I found out this yesterday and now I corrected the action and also we are in the practice of finding the way it occurred and correcting it", Pruitt responded, however he didn't say if anybody will be terminated.

Because the EPA failed to inform Congress about the soundproof booth, the agency "used its appropriations in a manner specifically prohibited by law", the GAO concluded in an eight-page report made public on Monday.

"It's simple: Pruitt broke the law, and no amount of excuses can save him now", Brune added. "He must fire him immediately", said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 2nd-Grader Brought Knife To School, Cut 3 Students
Apr 17, 2018 - 20:25
Police describe the injuries as minor, but two students required stitches because they were cut in the back of the head. School officials say they will work with the family of the attacker and law enforcement in dealing with the incident.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top E Coli Outbreak Empties Romaine Lettuce off Tri-City Shelves
Apr 17, 2018 - 20:23
Epidemiologic evidence collected to date indicates that chopped romaine lettuce is the likely source of this outbreak. Twenty-two hospitalizations have occurred as a result of the outbreak, though luckily no deaths have been reported.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top If Trump draws red line, he enforces it: Nikki Haley warns Syria
Apr 17, 2018 - 20:23
The joint operation was in response to a suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma last week. Defensive effort of Syria was ineffective, he said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top VAR Gives Mainz Bizarre Penalty After Half-Time Whistle
Apr 17, 2018 - 20:17
VAR was introduced to eradicate refereeing mistakes and make the game smoother, so far it's only brought chaos though. . Mainz tried to assume control of the proceedings on the pitch whereas Freiburg defended well in their own territory.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Royal wedding: Meghan and Harry choose photographer with royal ties
Apr 16, 2018 - 12:01
Mr Lubomirski, who was born in England but now lives in NY , was given his first camera aged 11 by his stepfather. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen Alexi Lubomirski to take their wedding photos.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Barbara Bush, wife of ex-President George HW Bush, in 'failing health'
Apr 16, 2018 - 12:00
She first met her husband-to-be at the age of 16; she was a schoolgirl and he was a student at an elite preparatory school in MA . "I had very great relationships with the Bush family", former Colorado Governor Roy Romer told FOX31 on Sunday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top PSG must keep building says Emery after French title romp
Apr 16, 2018 - 11:58
But PSG continued to attack at will and Pastore's nonchalant assist for Di Maria allowed the winger to grab his second of the game on 59 minutes.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UCL: Zinedine Zidane weighs in on penalty incident, Gianluigi Buffon's dismissal
Apr 16, 2018 - 11:56
In dramatic fashion, Real Madrid saved themselves from an embarrassing collapse - and probably saved Zinedine Zidane's job. The Spaniard was involved in a verbal exchange with Allegri near the final whistle after Ronaldo tucked his penalty away.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Syrian Refugee Praises Trump's 'Leadership and Bravery' in Strike
Apr 16, 2018 - 11:52
One site hit by the barrage of missiles was the Bazrah Research Center, a scientific research center on the outskirts of Damascus. She says the US was confident that they had "significantly degraded his ability to use chemical weapons ever again".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Militants Kill 11 Policemen in Western Afghanistan
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:08
Rahmani said the Taliban planted mines to stop reinforcements from coming to help the government forces fend off the attack. His claim could not be independently confirmed and the government did not immediately respond to it.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Guardiola calls out Man United and Chelsea as club's that rejected VAR
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:06
Sergio Aguero will be missing for Manchester City's Premier League clash with Tottenham , having made "a huge effort" to feature against Liverpool in the Champions League .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Williamson plays captain's knock in Sunrisers win
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:06
There was a passage in KKR's innings when Lynn and Narine had little idea where the ball was going once it hit their bats. They take on Kings XI Punjab next in Mohali on April 19, while KKR will play Delhi Daredevils at home on April 16.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Sega Ages Announced for Switch
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:04
Now that the Sega Mini's been made official, all we can do is speculate until Sega deigns it appropriate to give us more details. Assuming that is the case, it would be really exciting, that the company is bringing a retro console in the market.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kentucky House overrides tax increase veto amid teachers' rally
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:04
The group started by encouraging teachers to wear red to school on Wednesdays, using the hashtag #RedforED in social media posts. The governor's response to the striking teachers sparked outcry and disbelief from state lawmakers and educators.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Michael Cohen facilitated $1.6 million agreement on behalf of GOP fundraiser
Apr 15, 2018 - 01:02
The lawyer for the Playboy model involved with Broidy said his client had no statement and clarified that she isn't McDougal. Both agreements had separate side letters that listed the real names of the parties, this person said.