Scott Pruitt's $43K soundproof phone booth reportedly broke spending laws

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

In addition, GAO found that since EPA spent its appropriated funds in a way banned by the law, it also broke the Antideficiency Act and needs to report its violation to Congress and the president.

"The GAO letter "recognized the.need for employees to have access to a secure telephone line" when handling sensitive information", said EPA spokesperson Liz Bowman.

EPA also told the GAO the booth "not only enables the administrator to make and receive phone calls to discuss sensitive information, but it also enables him to use this area to make and receive classified telephone calls (up to the top secret level) for the objective of conducting agency business".

The EPA had argued that the nearly $25,000 customized phone booth - which required painting, concrete and electrical work totaling more than $18,000 to reconfigure the small closet area where it was placed - was not part of a redecoration of Pruitt's office and should not be subject to the $5,000 cap.

"An illegal privacy booth to conduct secret discussions with his polluter friends does nothing to help our health or environment", Udall said.

US government watchdogs rapped two members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet on Monday over their spending past year, adding pressure on an administration already roiled by ethics complaints.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox did not respond to a request for comment on the hires.

Among those who have received massive raises under that authority are two young aides to Pruitt he brought with him to EPA from Oklahoma, where he previously served as state attorney general. Congress passed the legal provision to enable the EPA to better attract scientists and experts, but it did not put those restrictions on the agency. Scheduling director Millian Hupp, 26, saw her wages jump to $114,590, using raises totaling greater than $48,000 - a 72.3 percent in her authentic reparation.

Netflix stock price surges after hours on earnings report
Walt Disney Co will stop supplying new movies to Netflix starting next year and will start its own streaming service for families. The belief among analysts like Deutsche Bank's Brian Kraft is that Netflix has too much of a head start to lose now.

After the Syria Strike, a Strategy
Haley later told CBS that sanctions would be announced , likely on Monday, against Russian companies supplying the Syrian regime. A Syrian firefighter is seen inside the destroyed Scientific Research Centre in Damascus , Syria April 14, 2018.

'Consequences' for Syria strike: Russian Federation
This scenario, he said, "cannot be tolerated. especially in light of the deployment in Syria of the Russian contingent". Moscow kept up its resistance on Friday.

Pruitt has faced growing criticism and angry questioning from Democratic and Republican lawmakers over his spending habits.

"The American people deserve so much better than the culture of corruption, cronyism, and incompetence that is pervasive in the Trump administration and the Pruitt EPA", McCollum said in a statement to the Washington Post.

The inspector general said some hiring documents were signed by Pruitt himself, while Chief of Staff Ryan Jackson signed off on forms approving big raises, adding the words "for Scott Pruitt" to his signature.

The report also documents several other instances where EPA employees received raises.

Pruitt's EPA has argued that the booth should not be considered an office redecoration or renovation and thus should not be subject to the $5,000 limit.

Democrats and a few Republicans have been calling on Pruitt either to resign or be fired since late last month, when media reports first disclosed that he had rented a Capitol Hill condo tied to an oil and gas lobbyist at the bargain rate of $50 a night. "EPA must give a full public accounting of this expenditure and explain why the agency thinks it was complying with the law".

Whether the raises were granted with or without Pruitt's knowledge has emerged as a key question, both because of the size of the raises and the White House's previous decision to turn down pay bumps for the aides. "Like maybe a monk, where you don't come in contact with anyone".

Related news:

Hot News

Trump lawyer Michael Cohen forced to reveal another client: Sean Hannity
Apr 17, 2018 - 10:39
Both Cohen and adult-film star Stormy Daniels , whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, attended the hearing Monday. According to Hannity , he never dealt with Cohen on matters between him and a "third-party".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Rain halts Food City 500 at Bristol for brief delay
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:29
Kyle Larson is leading the NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, but he'll have to wait a day to see if he can win it. Darrell Wallace Jr., who also chose to make a stop under the caution, was penalized during the stops for speeding on pit road.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kodaira wins Heritage in a playoff
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:28
Down to his final try to reach Augusta National, Poulter needed a birdie on the 72nd hole to force a playoff with Beau Hossler. But the 22-year-old faltered over his final nine holes of regulation with three bogeys to fall into the tie with Kodaira.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Toronto Raptors vs. Washington Wizards - 4/17/18 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:28
They worked the ball to Anunoby, the rookie, who coolly hit big shots like he had done this before. "We got to make adjustments". ET. "I mean, we definitely are going to watch the tape, like I said, and we're going to try to correct mistakes we made on him".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Egypt armed forces foil 'terrorist' plot in central Sinai
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:27
The militants blew themselves up outside the camp after they were prevented by security forces from entering, an army statement said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Burlington joins national movement of support for Humboldt Broncos
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:27
She would prep the team's equipment before the team arrived for practice or a game. They dreamed of winning their league's championship and she helped them get ready.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Bon Jovi reunited for Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:27
The well-known rock group began gaining popularity in the "80s and acquired their first Hall of Fame nomination in 2011". Normally when musicians are entering the Hall of Fame, they are able to choose the person who formally inducts them.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Watch How Referee Michael Oilver Awarded A Late Penalty To Real Madrid
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:26
The decision had Buffon in particular incensed and the legendary 'keeper was sent off for man-handling the referee. Michael Oliver's wife is still receiving death threats and abuse from Juventus fans.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins - 4/16/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:26
After a plucky two periods in Game 1, Colorado wasn't able to keep pace with the Nashville Predators in the final frame. On this night, that player was David Pastrnak , who had a hat trick and six points total Saturday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Another Whiteout: Winnipeg Jets' flight to Minnesota rerouted due to blizzard
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:24
Connor Hellebuyck wasn't laying any blame for missing out on a shutout in his first National Hockey League playoffs by 45 seconds. He had a team-high five shots on goal in Game 1 and added three more in Game 2. "That was a great play on Stastny's goal".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Neymar reveals when he will return from injury
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:22
The win gives PSG 87 points from 33 matches this season, good enough for a 17-point lead over second-placed Monaco. Monaco later tweeted that they would reimburse the fans who had made the fruitless trip to the capital.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NTSB Removed Tesla from Investigation of Fatal Car Crash
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:21
It was created to allow traders to more accurately measure the daily volatility of an asset by using simple calculations. Keeping tabs on historical price performance, as well as both long-term and short-term trends, can be very useful.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pence says USA could possibly reach NAFTA deal
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:21
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is praising a Pacific Rim trade deal that may have prompted a change of heart from U.S. That decision was condemned last week by Pena Nieto and opposing candidates for this year's Mexican presidential election .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seized Trump lawyer's recordings of conversations in raid
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:20
District Court in Manhattan, Joanna Hendon, a lawyer for Trump, said the president had "acute" and "weighty" interests at stake. Daniels has publicly stated the payment was hush money to insure her silence about a 2006 affair with Trump.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Starbucks apologizes for arrest of 2 black men
Apr 16, 2018 - 04:17
Starbucks has apologized for how the customers were treated, expressing disappointment that the incident led to an arrest. The men were arrested and later released. "We have immediately begun a thorough investigation of our practices".