EPA Administrator Pruitt Flew Unapproved Airlines to Garner Frequent Flyer Miles

By Paul Riegler on 12 April 2018
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The White House

The White House

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt pushed subordinates to help him earn frequent-flyer program miles by flying an airline not on the government’s approved list and book expensive hotels that were also not on the approved list, according to testimony given by one of his former top deputies at the agency.

The allegations are set forth in a letter signed by two senators and three congressmen following meetings with Kevin Chmielewski, who was the agency’s deputy chief of staff until he was placed on unpaid leave after raising questions about Pruitt’s spending and travel habits.

The allegations include that Pruitt directed agency staff to book his travel on Delta in order for him to earn more frequent-flyer miles and that he declined to stay at State Department-approved hotels that had security details already in place, opting for more expensive properties to which he brought his own security personnel at taxpayer expense. Delta is not on the government’s approved list of airlines.

In addition, Pruitt is alleged to have directed staffers to schedule official business in cities that he wanted to visit for personal reasons.

According to Chmielewski’s closed-door testimony, Pruitt’s choice of hotels required members of his security detail to cover much of the cost of their rooms out of their own pockets because the room rate was above the maximum allowable. Meanwhile, Pruitt was fully reimbursed for his hotel costs.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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