Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s protective detail broke down the door at the Capitol Hill condo where he was living, believing he was unconscious and unresponsive and needed rescue, in a bizarre incident last year.
…A Capitol Police officer called 911 at the behest of Pruitt’s security detail, which had tried unsuccessfully to reach him by phone, and by banging on the building’s front door, according to police recordings obtained by ABC News.
“They say he’s unconscious at this time,” the 911 operator is told, according to the recordings.
…The protective detail then broke down the building’s glass-paneled front door and ascended two flights …where two sources tell ABC News he was found groggy, rising from a nap. It is unclear what led to the panic that caused the response. Pruitt declined medical attention, and a police report was never filed.
…The EPA has since reimbursed Pruitt’s former landlord, Vicki Hart, for the cost of the door.
…The EPA allowed Bloomberg News to review copies of canceled checks that Pruitt paid to the condo owner. The news outlet reported that the checks show varying amounts paid on sporadic dates — not a traditional monthly “rent payment” of the same amount each month, according to Bloomberg. In all, Pruitt paid $6,100 over six months to the limited liability corporation for the Capitol Hill condo.
…“It’s not just if he is paying market rent,” Morgan said. “A short-term lease is expensive. Is he given the ability to end it any day? Is this an arrangement any other person could get on the open market? My assumption would be this situation does not involve the hallmarks of a specific fair market transaction.”
…“Since Administrator Pruitt is already involved in allegations of accepting gifts of travel, the question arises whether a sense of entitlement may have led him to violate the gift rules on this rental arrangement as well,” Holman wrote.
The head of the nonprofit watchdog group the Environmental Integrity Project and former EPA Director of Civil Enforcement Eric Shaffer called on the EPA’s inspector general and Congress to look into the issue.
“Does this explain why Pruitt flew to Morocco to pitch natural gas exports, which isn’t really an EPA concern?” Schaeffer wrote in a statement.