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The Environmental Protection Agency’s internal watchdog, said on Thursday, the former EPA head-Scott Pruitt has spent $124,000 in taxpayer money on premium travel for himself and his bodyguard, during a 10-month period, according to a report released Thursday found.
The U.S. EPA Office of the Inspector General s Pruitt rejected ‘ claims that its first-and business-class travel was justified, because of safety concerns.
“The former administrator and his accompanying agents incurred more travel expenses as necessary or appropriate, by first/business class flying,” the report of the 22-month audit said.
SCOTT PRUITT OF THE TIME AS EPA ADMINISTRATOR DOGGED BY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FIRST-CLASS TRAVEL, WAGE INCREASES
The watchdog has Pruitt is a Problem with 16 trips to the hometown of Tulsa, Okla., where he kept a private residence, and a $16,000 trip to Morocco. The audit also found that Pruitt exceeded the cost of the stay per-diem limits.
Pruitt joined issues in the past year, in the midst of ethics. He had previously denied use of tax money for premium travel, or in any other way abuse his office.
JUNE 2017-PRONG CHARTER FLIGHT ” COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED,’ WATCHDOG SAYS
Pruitt said the travel costs are justified, because the traveler faced him during the trips. The inspector General looked at 40 trips during Pruitt’s tenure, the cost is almost $1 million, of which $430,000 was spent on security alone.
Pruitt was the first EPA chief, said to require around-the-clock protection.
In this may 16, 2018, photo, then-Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will appear before a Senate appropriations Subcommittee in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, file)
The EPA, which is currently under the leadership of former coal lobbyist, Andrew Wheeler, do not agree with many of the report’s conclusions. In a statement, said the trip cost be insured and that the refund would be “inappropriate.”
The Agency said Pruitt, who works as a consultant for the coal companies, requires stronger security measures because of the threat. Some of its safety measures include, tactical equipment, the for his bodyguards and a $43,000 soundproof booth for calls in his office.
The report said the EPA is not document-specific threats, the warranty an additional layer of security and stated: “The Agency may not support the documentation that the former administrators had endangered the life, if you are flying Economy class.”
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The report came as a result of complaints and requests in Pruitt-travel habits, general-inspector said. The investigators recommended that the EPA strengthen controls to prevent wasteful spending and fraud.
Other Trump administration have accused the officers of unnecessary or excessive expenditure of taxpayers ‘ money. Tom Price, the former head of the Department of Health and Human Services office amid allegations that he’d used, Charter and military planes to travel for the government.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.