Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday in the face of multiple ethical allegations.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he accepted Pruitt’s resignation and lauded his “outstanding” tenure in office.
“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency,” Trump wrote. “Within the Agency Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.”
…on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA. I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 5, 2018
The president added that Deputy EPA Administration Andrew Wheeler will take over Pruitt’s responsibilities starting Monday.
“I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda,” Trump tweeted. “We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!”
CNBC reported that several inquiries have been opened into spending, ethics and policy decisions during Pruitt’s watch.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy opened an investigation into Pruitt’s spending.
The EPA chief and his staffers spent $90,000 on travel in just a few days in January, which included first-class airfare.
Pruitt also requested round-the-clock protection, which ran the EPA’s security costs far beyond previous administrations.
According to The New York Times, Pruitt faced 13 inquiries into his spending and management practices at the agency.
The Times reported new questions were raised on Thursday about his aides deleting sensitive information from the director’s public schedule about meetings he was having. The deletions may have violated the Public Records Act.
The Oklahoman first came under scrutiny for a Capitol Hill condo he rented at $50 per night, which is owned by the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist.
In his resignation letter to Trump, Pruitt wrote, “It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.”
He continued, “However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.”
On Monday, Pruitt was confronted by a woman at a restaurant in Washington, D.C.
“Hi,” she told EPA chief. “I just wanted to urge you to resign for what you’re doing to the environment in our country.”
Pruitt concluded his resignation letter: “I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence. I believe that same providence brought me into your service. I pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people.”
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