After Pruitt blamed staffers for his corruption, his EPA deputies headed for the exits.
The EPA exodus exploded into overdrive this week.
The abrupt farewell is the fourth major EPA departure in just four days. And even more departures are expected soon.
The personnel exit stampede comes as the EPA is the subject to approximately one dozen government investigations into fraud, corruption, excessive travel and security costs, all thanks to Trump’s big business-friendly chief, Pruitt.
Konkus’ communications boss at the EPA, Liz Bowman, resigned yesterday.
Pruitt’s communications staff, of course, has been at the center of the agency’s countless maelstroms, as they’re the ones forced to field endless questions from reporters about the secretary’s unethical behavior.
In fact, on Thursday the Atlantic reported that, in a stunning bout of intramural warfare, things have gotten so bad at the EPA one of Pruitt’s press aides was caught trying to leak a damaging story about another Trump cabinet member in hopes of “taking the heat off of Pruitt.”
The newest departures follow Pruitt’s appearance before two Congressional committees last week, where he repeatedly blamed his staff for the problems that now consume his agency.
“Pruitt’s deflecting of responsibility has damaged morale among staff at EPA, sources say, and more departures of political staff are expected,” the Washington Examiner reports.
Meanwhile, it’s becoming hard to keep track of Pruitt’s record of ethical missteps.
“Pruitt has spent at least $105,000 on first class flights, arguing his security team worried about his personal safety. He increased his security to a round-the-clock team of bodyguards, costing millions of dollars, and he got a bargain deal on a Capitol Hill condo rental from the wife of a lobbyist who aimed to influence EPA business, records reveal, including making recommendations for agency science boards on behalf of a client” Politico notes.
Joining Konkus and Bowman out the EPA door have been Albert Kelly, who led an agency program that helps clean up hazardous sites, and Pasquale Perrotta, who served as the head of Pruitt’s security detail and emerged as a key figure in the runaway spending scandals at the agency.
Also, last month policy chief Samantha Dravis and agriculture adviser Jeff Sands both left.
Pruitt’s gutting the EPA in so many different ways.