Posted: 8:46 pm Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
By Jamie Dupree
Troubles for EPA chief Scott Pruitt escalated on Tuesday, with his announcement that two aides who have drawn scrutiny will be leaving the Environmental Protection Administration, as the head of security for the EPA Administrator and an official in charge of Superfund cleanup resigned from the federal agency, leading Democrats to demand even more personnel changes.
On the way out are Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, a former Secret Service agent who was in charge of security for Pruitt, and Albert “Kell” Kelly, a former Oklahoma banker who had been banned from the banking industry, but was brought in by Pruitt to run the Superfund toxic cleanup program.
“I want to thank him for his service and wish him the very best in retirement,” Pruitt said of Perrotta,
“Kell Kelly’s service at EPA will be sorely missed,” Pruitt added.
But Democrats in Congress said it should be just the start of broader changes at the EPA.
“Pruitt should be the next to go,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA).
One week ago @GerryConnolly and I sought an investigation of Scott Pruitt's friend Albert Kelly, a banned banker with no experience in environmental protection whom Pruitt put in charge of Superfund.
Today Kelly resigned. Pruitt should be the next to go. pic.twitter.com/HJJuNJichA
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) May 1, 2018
Perrotta had come under review because of what critics said was excessive spending on security for Pruitt, as well as contracts with a security firm involved with Perrotta.
Perrotta was scheduled to be interviewed by staff on the House Oversight Committee this week. He told ABC News that he still plans to cooperate with their review of the EPA.
“Pruitt’s lavish taxpayer-funded security detail reportedly also traveled with him on non-official business, including trips home to Tulsa, a family vacation to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl,” said Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY).
BREAKING: Head of EPA announces two top aides leaving agency amid ethics investigations.
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) May 1, 2018
In announcing the resignations, the EPA press office sent reporters prepared quotes from Administrator Pruitt – also included was a quote from former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, about Kelly, who worked with Keating at the American Bankers Association.
An EPA spokeswoman had no comment on why the resignation of the Superfund chief needed extra supporting comments from a former Governor who is not involved with the Trump Administration, or the EPA.