Quantcast

Scott Pruitt Sought Chick-Fil-A Franchise for His Wife

Politics
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt speaking at a meeting at the USDA headquarters in Washington, DC, on Jan. 7. Lance Cheung / USDA

Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tasked a taxpayer-funded agency staffer with securing a "business opportunity" for his wife with an executive of the fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, the Washington Post reported.

According to emails obtained by the Sierra Club under the Freedom of Information Act, Pruitt's former scheduler, Sydney Hupp, contacted Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy about setting up a meeting on behalf of Pruitt.


"The Administrator would like to talk about a potential business opportunity with Mr. Cathy. Nothing very pressing, just hoping to connect sometime in the next month or so," Hupp wrote in the email. The exchange dates back to May 2017, just months after Pruitt took office.

The meeting never took place, the Post reported. However, the EPA boss eventually spoke with Chick-fil-A representatives. Carrie Kurlander, a Chick-fil-A spokeswoman, told the newspaper that the conversation was about Pruitt's wife Marlyn opening a franchise. She started the franchise application but never completed it, Kurlander said.

An EPA spokesperson declined to comment to the Post.

"Scott Pruitt's abuse of the public trust and his corrupt attempts to leverage his position for personal gain have reached a disgraceful new low," said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune in a statement. "This is the clearest example yet of Pruitt unethically and illegally seeking personal benefits because of the job Donald Trump has entrusted him with."

Brune added, "How much longer will Trump allow Pruitt to enrich himself at the taxpayer's expense? This appears to be the only Administration in history that would allow this level of corruption to thrive, as any President with any sense of ethics or the law would fire Pruitt immediately."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday she had not spoken directly with President Trump about the Post's latest report.

"We continue to have concerns and look into those, and we'll address them," she said.

Pruitt, who is already facing about a dozen ethics investigations, allegedly assigned another political aide Millan Hupp, Sydney Hupp's sister, with the task of obtaining a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

During a hearing with the Senate Appropriations subcommittee last month, Pruitt admitted Millan worked for free searching for a place for him to live in Washington, DC.

The leading Democrat on the subcommittee, New Mexico Senator Tom Udall, said the free labor constituted a gift. Federal officials are prohibited by law from receiving gifts of more than $10 from employees.

Among other scandals, the EPA chief has also been under fire for flying first class on the taxpayer's tab and staying at a $50-a-night Capitol Hill condo owned by a coal lobbyist's wife.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter


mevans / E+ / Getty Images

The federal agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef issued an unprecedented statement that broke ranks with Australia's conservative government and called for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less

A powerful earthquake struck near Athens, Greece and shook the capital city for 15 seconds on Friday, causing people to run into the streets to escape the threat of falling buildings, NBC News reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
U.S. government scientists concluded in a new report that last month was the hottest June on record. Angelo Juan Ramos / Flickr

By Jessica Corbett

As meteorologists warned Thursday that temperatures above 100°F are expected to impact two-thirds of the country this weekend, U.S. government scientists revealed that last month was the hottest June ever recorded — bolstering calls for radical global action on the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less
Rod Waddington / CC BY-SA 2.0

By John R. Platt

For years now conservationists have warned that many of Madagascar's iconic lemur species face the risk of extinction due to rampant deforestation, the illegal pet trade and the emerging market for the primates' meat.

Yes, people eat lemurs, and the reasons they do aren't exactly what we might expect.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pixnio

By Rachael Link, MS, RD

Many types of flour are commonly available on the shelves of your local supermarket.

Read More Show Less
A visitor views a digital representation of the human genome at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Mario Tama / Getty Images

Genetics are significantly more responsible for driving autism spectrum disorders than maternal factors or environmental factors such as vaccines and chemicals, according to a massive new study involving more than 2 million people from five different countries.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Emilie Karrick Surrusco

Across the globe, extreme weather is becoming the new normal.

Read More Show Less