June 06, 2019

Udall, Carper Statement on EPA OIG Closing Investigation into Scott Pruitt’s Use of Official Position to Pursue Family Business Opportunities

Senators requested investigation after reports and emails indicated that Pruitt pursued a business opportunity with Chick-Fil-A for his family using his post as EPA administrator

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, and Tom Carper (D-Del.), ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, responded to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) closing its investigation into former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s apparent attempts to use his office to benefit himself and his family in business matters unrelated to federal government work. 

The senators, along with U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), requested the investigation in June 2018 following reports that Pruitt discussed at least two business opportunities for his wife while on duty as EPA administrator – seeking franchise opportunities with fast food chain Chick-Fil-A and an event planning role with the nonprofit organization Concordia. 

Udall and Carper issued the following joint statement

“Scott Pruitt left EPA in disgrace, yet now he’s been virtually let off the hook from being held accountable for his grossly unethical behavior. In a case as egregious as Mr. Pruitt’s, the decision to close this investigation sends the wrong message about the consequences for ethics violations in this administration.

“Even if the OIG is closing this investigation – and even if the Wheeler EPA refuses to hold Pruitt accountable for his myriad misdeeds – the American people can clearly see that Mr. Pruitt abused the power of his office to benefit himself and his family, often at the taxpayer’s expense. The Trump administration has shown over and over again that self-dealing and corruption will be met with a blind eye and that those who violate the public trust will get off scot-free.  

“The Trump EPA only has itself to blame for the loss of public trust in the agency. Steps need to be implemented transparently and immediately to undo the damage that has been done by Scott Pruitt’s disgraceful tenure and to hold him accountable, or else taxpayers will see such abuse again and again.”