After a pair of congressional hearings in which EPA administrator Scott Pruitt blamed his staff for his massive spending, secrecy, and lobbyist ties, two top senior aides left their positions.
The departures of Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, a career EPA employee who headed Pruitt’s security team, and Albert Kelly, a former banker and longtime friend who ran the agency’s Superfund task force, come days after Pruitt “dismayed much of his staff by blaming aides for furors involving his massive spending on bodyguards, first-class flights, a $43,000 soundproof phone booth and a biometric door lock,” according to a new report released by Politico.
When asked about the departure of the two aides, Pruitt immediately refused to give specific reasoning. Perrotta, a former Secret Service agent who worked in multiple positions at the agency since 2004, told Politico he resigned for personal reasons.
All of this press is taking a toll on my family. I decided to move on and it’s been an honor to serve.”
Perrotta said he will “fully cooperate and answer any and all questions” from Congress.
Perrotta is due to appear Wednesday for a transcribed interview by staffers of the House Oversight Committee. Committee aides said his resignation was not expected to affect his appearance.
However, Kelly admitted to the press that he is leaving the agency after attracting controversy over his past, including being banned for life from the banking industry by the FDIC. Agency staff did not provide details on the timing of his departure, but experts estimate that he will be leaving within the next couple of weeks.
Despite all the allegations, Democrats in Congress are still wanting a federal investigation into Pruitt’s dealings, along with the other EPA officials whom the House Oversight Committee members have summoned for questioning. As for who will be replacing the two aides, that is entirely up to the Trump administration, but surely there are plenty of highly sketchy, unqualified cronies lined up to take over the job.