Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, called on Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General Arthur Elkins on May 16 to investigate the self-employment of Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta during his time as the head of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s security detail.
“We write to request you conduct an investigation into the circumstances of Pasquale ‘Nino’ Perrotta’s self-employment while at the Environmental Protection Agency, his involvement in the selection of Edwin Steinmetz to conduct a ‘sweep’ of Administrator Scott Pruitt’s office, and the manner in which he and the administrator worked together to advance the administrator’s security requests. Mr. Perrotta appears to have been the individual that Administrator Pruitt transmitted most or all of his security demands to, and appears to have obliged the Administrator’s demands to spend exorbitantly on unjustified security measures,” the senators wrote.
The senators also described interviews and a review of documents provided to their offices that appear to contradict Perrotta’s statements about his selection of the contractor used to perform the bug sweep and note Perrotta’s involvement in many of the administrator’s questionable security decisions and writing.
“For example, a Feb. 27, 2017 email from Mr. Perrotta to others at EPA states that Administrator Pruitt ‘encourages the use’ of lights and sirens by his motorcade, a deviation from past EPA practice. It was also Mr. Perrotta who wrote the memo providing a blanket justification for Administrator Pruitt’s first-class flights,” the senators wrote.
In March, Carper and Whitehouse wrote to Pruitt requesting all information regarding the role Perrotta played at EPA, citing concerns that Perrotta used his position at the agency to influence the award of EPA contracts to a person or company in which he has a financial interest due to his outside employment. In April, after receiving no response from EPA, Carper and Whitehouse wrote to EPA’s Designated Agency Ethics Official Kevin Minoli seeking more information on how EPA evaluated and monitored Perrotta’s authorization for maintaining outside employment. EPA’s ethics official has not responded to the senators’ request for information.
The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2L0u1fX.