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Former adviser tells Congress of extravagant issues from EPA Scott Pruitt



Former EPO Deputy Chief Kevin Chmielewski also said Pruitt was aware of the big increases given to other employees and refuted Pruitts report that he was unaware of the salary uncertainty.

The allegations are set forth in a letter to several Democrats Members of Congress sent Pruitt and President Donald Trump on Thursday. The letter says the new information about how Pruitt managed the agency reveals actions that are "unethical and potentially illegal."
Chmielewski is currently unpaid leave from the agency after expressing concerns about Pruit's travel practices and the use of resources and funds.

• Pruitt declined to use Foreign Ministry approved hotels overseas, which already had security. preferred more expensive hotels with higher security costs.

• Pruitt asked for counselors to plan official business in the cities he wanted to visit.

• Pruitt instructed employees to book their trip on Delta to maximize their frequent flyer miles.

• Pruitt used the agency's dispatcher as a "personal real estate agent".

• Pruitt wanted people to find reasons to visit his home state of Oklahoma.

• Pruitt spent more than $ 5,000 on equipping his office, including repairing an antique desk, buying a standing desk, and paying Smithsonian art loans

"We're about to become Congressman responding to the right channel, "said agency spokesman Jahan Wilcox in a statement to CNN.

The EPA has previously defended Pruitt's travel and security practices, and Pruitt argued that his lease was ethical in recent interviews. The EPA has also said that Chmielewski belongs to "a group of disgruntled employees who have either been dismissed or reassigned."

Hotel Selection

The letter reveals that Pruitt, when planning a business trip to Australia last year, ignored the Foreign Office's recommendations.

"Mr. Chmielewski claimed that you had refused to stay at hotels recommended by the US Embassy, ​​even though the recommended hotel had law enforcement agencies and other US local resources," the letter says. "He claimed that you opted instead to stay in more expensive hotels with fewer standard security funds and take your security team with them at the expense of the taxpayer."

Pruitt's hotel selection also required his security department to pay for room out of pocket.

"According to Mr. Chmielewski, you have often stayed in hotels that have exceeded the allowable US government flat rate," the letter said. "He added that while you were reimbursed for these expenses, in some cases, the security details of your members were not reimbursed for the portion of their expenses that exceeded the allowable limits."

First-class travel and wage increases

Chmielewski told investigators that he had been put to rest by Pruitt after refusing to purchase a first-class airline ticket for another EPA political officer Samantha Dravis, retroactively approving. Dravis announced last week that she will be leaving the agency later this month.

"He told our staff that after his refusal, Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson called Mr. Chmielewski to his office and informed him that you wanted to dismiss or dismiss him." The Democratic members of Congress wrote Pruitt.

Chmielewski told congressional investigators that he had personal knowledge ̵
1; through an interview with Jackson – that Pruitt was involved in the salary increases he gave to his lawyer and the appointment planner.
Pruitt denies in a Fox News interview that he knew of the rallies ahead of a report by The Atlantic that revealed the increases – one for $ 57,000 and another for $ 28,000.

But Chmielewski said the steward was in charge.

"Mr Chmielewski stated that he was called to the office of your Chief of Staff and said that you wanted to remove him from his post to give Ms. Hupp his title and a salary increase," says the letter to Pruitt.

The increases were "100% Pruitt himself," Chmielewski told the investigators. The letter did not indicate whether Chmielewski personally discussed the increases with Pruitt.

  The EPA confirms the existence of e-mails about wage increases, but insists that there is no evidence for Pruitt

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