Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Tom Udall, D-New Mexico, on June 12 asked Kevin Minoli, chief EPA ethics official, for information about EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s 2017 public financial disclosure, which was originally due May 15.
Minoli must certify that the Financial Disclosure is accurate and complete and that nothing in the report violates or appears to violate ethics or criminal conflict of interest laws or regulations, according to the White House Office of Government Ethics.
Amid mounting ethical concerns, the release of Pruitt’s 2017 public financial disclosure would give Congress and the public a full accounting of Pruitt’s questionable financial activity. This includes any items of value obtained throughout the course of his tenure as EPA administrator and income his wife received, including any income she received as a consequence of Pruitt’s potentially improper efforts to use his influence on her behalf — all of which would need to be detailed in his financial disclosure and certified as “free of conflict of interests” by EPA’s ethics officials. It is unclear how Minoli would be able to make such a certification if recent reports that Pruitt used his official position to pursue business opportunities for his wife are accurate. The senators also noted other gifts of value Pruitt may have received, including tickets to sporting events, travel and unpaid assistance with various personal tasks provided to him by subordinate EPA employees.
In addition, the senators also requested documents pertaining to Pruitt’s financial disclosure to evaluate his compliance with federal ethics rules, stating that “Compliance with federal ethics rules and regulations is absolutely essential for Americans to have faith that their public officials place public service above their personal financial interests. We urge you to make every effort to ensure that Mr. Pruitt’s final PFD is fully accurate and complete and published in a timely fashion.”
The letter to Mr. Minoli follows several requests from Democratic senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee and the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to the EPA’s Office of the Inspector General to investigate possible ethical rules Pruitt could be violating, including seeking franchise opportunities for his wife with fast food chain Chick-fil-A and an event planning role with the nonprofit organization Concordia.
The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2JHDMhQ.