Speed Reads

big spender

Scott Pruitt spent $1,560 on 12 pens

Scott Pruitt's tenure as head of the Environmental Protection Agency has been marked by scandal. The EPA chief was caught paying below-market rent on a condo owned by an energy lobbyist. His first-class travel plans are reportedly made with input from lobbyists and GOP donors, and he spent $43,000 of agency funds on a phone booth plus $3 million on personal security.

Pruitt's office also dropped $1,560 on pens, specifically 12 custom, silver fountain pens from a Washington jeweler, The Washington Post reports. "The cost of the Qty. 12 Fountain Pens will be around $1,560.00. ... Please advise," a Pruitt staffer wrote in an email obtained by the Post to Millan Hupp, a longtime Pruitt adviser who is now his head of scheduling. "Yes, please order. Thank you," Hupp replied. The other items in the order totaling $3,230 included "personalized journals."

An EPA representative told the Post the pens were bought "for the purpose of serving as gifts to the administrator's foreign counterparts and dignitaries upon his meeting with them. This adheres to the same protocol of former EPA administrators and were purchased using funds budgeted for such a purpose."

Pruitt has not accepted personal blame for the extravagances on his watch, but he conceded in congressional testimony in May that there "have been decisions over the past 16 months that, as I look back, I would not make the same decisions again."