On Monday, the head of EPA chief Scott Pruitt's 24-hour security detail, Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta, stepped down ahead of an interview with the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, saying that "all of this press is taking a toll on my family," ABC News reports. Former EPA Deputy Chief of Staff Kevin Chmielewski claims Perrotta had hired a personal friend in Italy to provide protection for Pruitt, and that Perrotta tried to discredit his claims about Pruitt and threatened to take away his EPA parking pass.
Pruitt is embroiled in a spending and traveling scandal, which sparked the House Oversight Committee probe; Perrotta said he plans to "fully cooperate and answer any and all questions." In a statement, Pruitt thanked Perrotta for his service and wished him "the very best in retirement."
Separately, top toxic waste cleanup aide Albert "Kell" Kelly has resigned from the EPA, apparently having decided that "enough is enough," Axios reported Tuesday. A recent New York Times report revealed that Kelly was "barred from working in the finance industry because of a banking violation," and the bad press reportedly helped drive his departure.
Pruitt also praised Kelly, saying that "in just over a year, he has made a tremendous impact on EPA's Superfund program." Read The Week's Ryan Cooper on Scott Pruitt and the corruption at the EPA here. Jeva Lange