Scott Pruitt, head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has proven himself to be a fan of lavish living since he took office last year. He’s made headlines not just for reversing environmental regulations, but also for his questionable spending of tax payer money. His latest splurge? Tactical pants.
After a string of spending including radios, holsters, door smashers, and leased vehicles, Pruitt’s total spending on security items has reached $4.6 million. Of this, nearly $3,000 was spent on those tactical pants along with polo shirts.
Pruitt is set to testify about his spending habits before a Senate panel in August. In the meantime, here are a few other interesting items on Pruitt’s shopping list.
Art and Office Decor
According to The Hill, Pruitt spent at least $9,600 on office decor in May, including for art frames and refurbishing a desk. Nearly $2,000 of this went to labor and delivery charges for three paintings rented from the Smithsonian Institute. The other bills, all exceeding $2,000, went toward buying a new standing desk, refurbishing an older desk, and framing like a photo of Pruitt with Trump, and another of the American flag.
Soundproof Phone Booth
Although the private phone booth for Pruitt’s office originally cost $10,000, the final bill came to $43,000 because of additional soundproofing, Money reported. Pruitt also spent $9,000 sweeping his office to ensure there were no hidden listening devices and for installing biometric locks. The cost of the booth alone vastly surpassed the $5,000 allotted to president-appointed administrators for office decoration. Since Pruitt did not notify Congress beforehand, the Government Accountability Office ruled that he broke the law. This is just one of several federal investigations into Pruitt’s spending.
Earlier this month, Fortune reported that Pruitt purchased personalized pens and journals that cost $3,230, claiming they were meant as gifts for dignitaries. Just 12 pens, engraved with the EPA seal and Pruitt’s signature, cost $1,560. Other items included leather-bound journals, fountain pens, and stationary.
Pruitt spent just over $6,000 leasing a room in the home of the wife of an energy industry lobbyist at a discounted rate of $50 per night (but only for nights that he actually slept there). While staying there, Pruitt took an afternoon nap. When his full-time security detail failed to get in touch with him, Vox reports, they broke down the property door to reach him. The EPA reimbursed the home owners $2,460 for damages.
Personal Aides and Enhanced Security
Pruitt gave raises to his top two aides in April, despite the fact the White House did not approve the salary increases. Pruitt has been known to ask his aides to run personal errands for him, including asking them to find a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel, according to Time.
According to Kevin Chmielewski, who served as deputy chief of staff for operations at the EPA, Pruitt also bought bulletproof vests and weapons for enhanced security. He also contracted private Italian security personnel for $30,000. Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that Pruitt had his security detail drive around looking for a specific lotion from Ritz-Carlton hotels that he particularly enjoys.
Chmielewski also reported that Pruitt choose travel destinations based on his ability to see new places or visit home. According to the Washington Post, Pruitt’s penchant for first-class flights led the government to spend $90,000 on him and top aides in early June 2017 alone. Politico reported the total reached $105,000 by the end of his first year as EPA administrator.