Scandal-plagued EPA administrator resigns
WASHINGTON (AP) — Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned Thursday amid ethics investigations of outsized security spending, first-class flights and a sweetheart condo lease.
With Pruitt’s departure, President Donald Trump loses an administrator many conservatives regarded as one of the more effective members of his Cabinet.
But Pruitt had also been dogged for months by a seemingly unending string of scandals that spawned more than a dozen federal and congressional investigations.
In a resignation letter released to media outlets, Pruitt expressed no regret for any actions he had taken since being tapped by Trump to lead EPA last year.
“It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring,” Pruitt wrote.
“However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us.”
Pruitt had appeared Wednesday at a White House picnic for Independence Day, wearing a red-checked shirt and loafers with gold trim. Trump gave him and other officials a brief shout-out, offering no sign of any immediate change in his job.
Trump said in a tweet that Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal industry executive, will assume the acting administrator position Monday.
Pruitt’s resignation came days after two of his former senior staffers spoke to House oversight committee investigators and revealed new, embarrassing details in ethics allegations against Pruitt.