Politics

EPA Shouldn’t Have Paid for Pruitt’s Broken-Down Condo Door, McCollum Says

Minnesota rep was there when security detail kicked in door after not being able to reach him

The security detail for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, left, kicked in his door in a Washington condo building when they couldn’t awaken him from a nap. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Betty McCollum has questions for the Environmental Protection Agency after it reimbursed the owners of a condo that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was renting for the cost of repairing a broken door.

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party member, who happens to sit on the House subcommittee that oversees the EPA’s budget, owns a condo downstairs from the one Pruitt was renting from the wife of energy lobbyist J. Steven Hart.

“I know that Congress appropriates money for the EPA to protect human health and the environment — not for repairs to the administrator’s residence,” McCollum wrote in a letter to the agency this week, ABC News reported.

McCollum was there last March when Pruitt’s security detail kicked in his door because it could not reach him. She had been unable to help Pruitt’s security guards and the U.S. Capitol Police find a key to the administrator’s condo.

It turned out Pruitt had been napping.

The EPA footed the bill for repairing the door — $2,460 in all — ABC News reported. In her letter, McCollum asked Pruitt if he had reimbursed the agency for the repair charges and what EPA funds were used to pay for the damages.

“The American people deserve to know if and why their tax dollars have been spent repairing damage to your residence caused by your failure to respond to your security detail in a timely matter,” McCollum wrote.

The agency “will respond to Congresswoman McCollum through the proper channel,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told ABC.

Pruitt defended his living situation last week after ABC reported he’d been renting the condo for $50 a night from the wife of an energy lobbyist, a potential conflict of interest for the person in charge of the government department that’s supposed to protect the environment.

Pruitt has said EPA ethics officials gave him the go-ahead on his housing setup.

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