EPA Chief Scott Pruitt broke federal spending law by installing a $43,000 private phone booth to make secure calls, according to ABC News.
Pruitt told congressional investigators that the phone booth was needed to make secure calls to the White House and other federal agencies and is standing by the cost to install the booth.
However, as the Government Accountability Office noted in their report, Pruitt did not seek permission for his lavish phone booth spending and “by failing to provide such advance notice, EPA violated section 710” of the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act which requires spending above $5,000 to be preapproved by Congress.
Previously, the EPA had admitted the phone booth cost $25,000 but according to the Washington Post, that number did not include the full cost of installation, which also included a whopping $18,000 bill for prep work to prepare the space for the secure booth, bringing the cost up to $43,000.
Still, the EPA swears that Pruitt’s lavish spending is no big deal.
“This is old news,” EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told WaPo in an email Tuesday when asked about the expense. “In September of 2017, we thoroughly discussed why this secure communications line was needed for the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.”
Pruitt’s use of $43,000 on a phone booth is only the latest report of his exorbitant spending, which also includes excessive first class travel on the taxpayers’ dime.
[photo via Getty Images]