Former SpiritBank leader Albert Kelly wasn’t the only top EPA official to resign this week amidst growing ethics investigation at the agency led by former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. And it’s clear Democrats on Capitol Hill are out for blood.
So did Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta, a former Secret Service agency who was head of the security team for Pruitt. While he resigned, Perrotta also said he will continue cooperating in the U.S. House probe of the cost of providing security for Pruitt.
Ethics questions had been raised about Perrotta after he hired a business associate from a firm where he also works. The associated was hired to carry out a $3,000 security sweep of Pruitt’s office.
The two resignations prompted a quick response by House Oversight Committee member, Rep. Don Beyer, a Democrat from Virginia.
“Scott Pruitt should be the next to go. The exodus of Pruitt’s closest aides shows just how toxic his reign at EPA has become.”
As for Kelly, he was brought to Washington to head up the Superfund program for Pruitt. But within the past year, his connections to his family-run SpiritBank resulted in a $125,000 FDIC fine and a lifetime ban from the banking industry.
The ban and the fine led Rep. Scott Peters, D-California to ask Pruitt during a U.S. House hearing last week if he would order Kelly to testify. Peters indicated he wanted to question Kelly about his banking background and the FDIC ban. Peters and other Democrats have challenged Pruitt whether Kelly’s banking background qualified him to run the EPA’s Superfund program.
Rep. Peters also had questions about Kelly’s ownership of property next to an Oklahoma Superfund site and wondered whether it constituted a conflict of interest.