March 30, 2018
By John Santucci, Matthew Mosk, and Stephanie Ebbs –
Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt worked directly with a top energy lobbyist, and without a real estate broker, to set up a $50-a-night rental room in a prime Capitol Hill building co-owned by the lobbyist’s wife during his first six months in Washington, a source familiar with the arrangement told ABC News.
Pruitt was permitted to pay rent for just a single bedroom in the upstairs condo unit, even though the other bedrooms in the unit were unoccupied, the source told ABC News.
In all, Pruitt paid $6,100 to the limited liability corporation for the Capitol Hill condo co-owned by Vicki Hart, whose husband J. Steven Hart is chairman of a top D.C. lobbying firm and who is registered to lobby for several major environmental and energy concerns, according to Bloomberg News which first reported the payment arrangement.
The EPA allowed Bloomberg News to review copies of canceled checks that Pruitt paid to the condo owner for using the room for roughly six months. The news outlet reported that the checks show varying amounts paid on sporadic dates — not a traditional monthly “rent payment” of the same amount each month.