Dem senator accuses EPA chief Pruitt of violating ethics law
A Senate Democrat is accusing the head of the Environmental Protection Agency of violating federal law by agreeing to headline a state GOP fundraiser.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse filed an ethics complaint Tuesday against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over a planned May 5 appearance as the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Republican Party’s annual gala dinner. The Rhode Island Democrat says that would violate the Hatch Act, which limits the political activities of executive branch employees.
Pruitt served as Oklahoma’s elected attorney general prior to his appointment to the Trump administration. In that post, he frequently raised campaign funds from fossil-fuel corporations and their executives while filing lawsuits challenging EPA rules they opposed.
Sponsorship levels for the upcoming GOP gala range from $2,000 to $5,000. Individual tickets for the dinner cost $100, with special “VIP” access available for another $50. The invitation specifically touts Pruitt’s support for eliminating federal regulations limiting planet-warming carbon emissions.
“You do not want to miss Pruitt at this year’s OKGOP Gala, as he discusses his plans to slash regulations, bring back jobs to Oklahoma, and decrease the size of EPA!” says a flyer for the event sent out by the state party. “Make sure to purchase your Gala tickets so you don’t miss out on Administrator Pruitt’s future plans and how he will continue to Drain the Swamp!”