Glad Pruitt quit EPA
Government officials often are not the most popular people. Whether because federal agencies do things that can cost people their jobs or due to general dislike based on ideology, some have good reason to worry about their safety.
Apparently, former Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt was especially worried.
After less than two years on the job, Pruitt resigned in July. His departure probably was tied to various questions about his ethics and others regarding EPA expenditures on his personal security.
Pruitt’s predecessor — and political opposite — Gina McCarthy, had enemies of her own. She had a personal security detail of six bodyguards.
Pruitt had that increased to 19. Spending on his security was more than double that for McCarthy.
High-level officials are entitled to reasonable protection at taxpayer expense, of course. But Pruitt and others on his team never produced any justification for the increase in spending, the EPA’s internal watchdog reported last week.
Pruitt apparently was unable to balance concern about safety with that for taxpayers.
He may be gone, but one wonders whether investigations similar to that of Pruitt would disclose there are other government officials with similar disregard for those who pay the bills.
Meanwhile, the New York Times is reporting that Pruitt is in talks for a new job as a consultant with Kentucky coal mining tycoon Joseph W. Craft III, although an ethics pledge he made to President Donald Trump bars him from lobbying the EPA for five years. It comes as no surprise that Pruitt will continue working for the coal industry — directly this time, instead of through federal channels — but it is a relief that the Trump administration has taken steps to stop the revolving door between government and lobbying.