U.S. environmental agency broke law with soundproof booth

Cheriss May  Zuma

Cheriss May Zuma

Ultimately, the installation violated two laws - the Antideficiency Act, which should prevent unbudgeted spending, as well as the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, which places the $5,000 limit on political appointees spending on any one office item. Because the EPA used federal money in a manner specifically prohibited by law, Armstrong said the agency also violated the Antideficiency Act, and is legally obligated to report that violation to Congress.

"EPA is addressing GAO's concern, with regard to congressional notification about this expense, and will be sending Congress the necessary information this week", Bowman said.

The privacy booth is in a former storage closet in Pruitt's office.

According to EPA, the privacy booth "not only enables the Administrator to make and receive phone calls to discuss sensitive information, but it also enables him to use this area to make and receive classified telephone calls (up to the top secret level) for the goal of conducting agency business".

Pruitt has taken several security precautions that are now under scrutiny, including his frequent use of first-class flights to avoid hostile interactions with other travelers.

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"An illegal privacy booth to conduct secret discussions with his polluter friends does nothing to help our health or environment", Udall said Monday.

The chief of personnel to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt authorized salary increases to three or more staff - just one of that was values 72 percent revealed.

Also on Monday, the EPA's inspector general revealed an interim report on large raises Mr. Pruitt's aides received.

"I then found this out yesterday and that I corrected that the action plus also we have been within the practice of figuring the way it happened and correcting it" Pruitt responded, even though he didn't state whether anybody would be terminated.

The US Environmental Protection Agency's construction of a soundroof booth for its administrator Scott Pruitt, a member of President Donald Trump's cabinet, broke the law, a government watchdog agency has determined.

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Elkins said that Pruitt signed some papers.

Pruitt's alleged high-spending ways have prompted lawmakers to call on the GAO to look into transactions like the phone booth. "EPA must give a full public accounting of this expenditure and explain why the agency thinks it was complying with the law", Barrasso said. "There will be some accountability".

EPA senior a lawyer Sarah Greenwalt, thirty, obtained two raises totaling greater than $66,000, bringing her income to $164,200 a 12 months - a 67.6 per cent gain from her commencing wages.

The raises have now been reversed, and future salary change requests will be submitted through the Office of Presidential Personnel for evaluation, Jackson said in a written statement last week.

Fox News' Barnini Chakraborty as well as also The Associated Press contributed to this record.

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