EPA watchdog to review Pruitt's use of email

By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |  May 15, 2018 at 7:44 PM
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May 15 (UPI) -- The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general said it would evaluate Administrator Scott Pruitt's use of personal email accounts for work purposes.

The watchdog said it plans to determine weather Pruitt is properly preserving emails in compliance with the Federal Records Act and the agency's own policies.

The inspector general's office revealed the review in a May 2 letter to Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The two senators asked the watchdog to conduct an investigation and released the agency's response Tuesday.

The inspector general was already looking into accusations Pruitt was involved in a shady rental deal, spent excessively and reassigned staff members out of revenge.

In April, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said his office would investigate spending by Pruitt's department after a Government Accountability Office report found he violated the law by spending $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth without notifying Congress.

Pruitt refuted criticisms during a hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee last month, touting efforts made at the EPA during his time there.

"I recognize there have been very troubling media reports over the past few weeks. I, more than anyone, want to establish the hard facts and provide answers to questions surrounding these reports," Pruitt said. "Let me be very clear, I have nothing to hide."

Pruitt said the last 16 months have been a learning process, and that if Congress finds fault in his decision-making, he would correct the actions and ensure it does not happen again.

"Facts are facts, fiction is fiction and a lie doesn't become true just because it appears on the front page of the newspaper," Pruitt said. "Much of what has been targeted at me or my team has been half-truths or stories that have been so twisted they do not resemble reality."

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