EPA spent nearly $3.5M on Pruitt security
Posted May 25, 2018 2:32 p.m. EDT
(CNN) — Security costs for Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt tally up to nearly $3.5 million for the past year, according to figures the agency released Friday.
The documents show the agency spent $2,726,719 on pay for the team of 19 agents who protect Pruitt around the clock.
The agency also spent more than $763,000 on travel for Pruitt's detail, which accompanied him on overseas trips to Morocco and Italy, as well as on trips to his Oklahoma home and personal events, like the Rose Bowl and Disneyland.
The documents also do not include other costs, such as training, equipment and vehicles for each agent.
That cost far exceeds the cost of protecting his predecessors in the nine years of data the agency made public. Pruitt's security cost about double what was spent the prior year, when salary costs tallied only $1.4 million, and travel costs for the security detail reached only $312,000.
The most recent quarter had the highest salary figure, a sign that the payroll costs for Pruitt's security may be even higher this coming year.
Pruitt's security factors into at least two ongoing reviews by the EPA inspector general.
The agency has defended Pruitt's spending and practices by citing an increased number of threats. But recently, documents and members of Congress have cast doubt on the severity of the threats, which included social media postings and verbal criticism from fellow airplane passengers.
"Administrator Pruitt has faced an unprecedented amount of death threats against him and to provide transparency EPA will post the costs of his security detail and pro-actively release these numbers on a quarterly basis," EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement. "Americans should all agree that members of the President's cabinet should be kept safe from violent threats."
The documents were reported earlier Friday by CBS News.