The U.S. Office of Special Counsel has opened up an investigation into whether Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt “retaliated” against staffers who “questioned his spending and management decisions,” The Washington Post reports. The office, which “responds to whistleblower complaints from federal employees,” is reportedly speaking to six agency employees or former employees. Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt’s former deputy chief of staff operations, said that the office was taking the matter “extremely seriously,” and reportedly spoke to officials for “at least six hours” about his firing after he expressed concerns over the administrator’s spending habits. This comes after reports that several employees at the EPA were either reassigned or dismissed after they questioned or pushed back on Pruitt’s expenditures—including a 24/7 security detail, first-class flights, and bullet-resistant seat covers.
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