Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ousted EPA head Pruitt denies getting improper gifts, income

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scott Pruitt, the scandal-ridden former Environmental Protection Agency chief, denied on Wednesday that he had obtained any extraordinary gifts or income as a result of his Cabinet-level post, and dismissed allegations he received perks ranging from sport tickets to a job for his wife.

The EPA on Wednesday released Pruitt's financial disclosure report for 2017. The report required Pruitt to disclose sources of income and gifts received because of his government work.

The report makes no mention of a $50-a-night Washington condo he stayed in or other perks was said to have received in office. Among them: hard-sought tickets to the Rose Bowl and at least one short-term gig for his wife as an event planner, for an event where Pruitt was a featured guest.

Pruitt did not address details about the allegations, many of which are detailed in testimony from former aides and in emails released through the Freedom of Information Act. Rather, he addressed them more broadly in the 13-page report.

"To the extent that I am aware of specific allegations, I dispute the facts asserted and, accordingly, am not aware of reportable gifts," Pruitt said.

Trump announced Pruitt's resignation on July 5 amid near-daily headlines about new allegations and federal investigations involving the then-EPA chief.

Pruitt said his wife's business made between $15,000 and $50,000 in 2017, and that none of Marilyn Pruitt's work was for organizations or people he would have regulated as EPA head.

Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, reported between $150,000 and $300,000 in debts in 2017 to two Oklahoma law firms.

Cleta Mitchell, a Washington lawyer and friend of Pruitt who at times has acted as a spokesperson regarding Pruitt's legal troubles, did not immediately return an email seeking comment Wednesday.

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