Pruitt asked for help finding apartment, used mattress from Trump hotel, aide says
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, asked his government staff to handle personal tasks for him, including helping buy him a mattress and looking for a long-term apartment rental, according to testimony released by House Democrats on Monday.
The letter, sent to Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, details interviews Pruitt’s director of scheduling and advance gave to the staff of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. A copy of the letter was shared with ABC News.
The director, Millan Hupp, said she spent several hours a week at work discussing housing accommodations for Pruitt with realtors.
Hupp said she visited at least 10 properties on behalf of Pruitt, who asked her verbally to assist him in finding housing options, according to the letter.
Hupp also said that she reached out the managing director of the Trump International Hotel in D.C. on Pruitt’s behalf to see about acquiring an old mattress from the hotel for Pruitt’s personal use.
She added that she considers Pruitt a personal friend.
“We are working diligently with Chairman Gowdy and are in full cooperation in providing the Committee with the necessary documents, travel vouchers, receipts and witnesses to his inquiries,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told ABC News.
Federal law says that employees should not be asked to do anything other than their job during work hours and that subordinates cannot be asked to provide any financial benefits or favors, which could qualify as a gift if the person isn’t compensated.
This is not the first time Pruitt’s housing arrangements have sparked ethics questions. ABC News first reported in March that Pruitt had been living in a condo owned by the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist for a discounted rate.
Pruitt has become the subject of several ethics investigations looking into his spending on flights and security details.
In April, Gowdy signaled an increased interest in investigating Pruitt when he called for the EPA to provide more documents to his committee concerning Pruitt’s travel expenses and housing arrangements.
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