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EPA chief to skip Republican gala after ethics complaint

Source OK.gov Source OK.gov

By MICHAEL BIESECKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency chief has pulled out of a Republican fundraiser after a Democratic senator raised ethics concerns.

A spokesman for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he would not be attending this weekend's Oklahoma Republican Party gala. Pruitt is Oklahoma's former attorney general. He'd been scheduled to be the keynote speaker.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse filed an ethics complaint against Pruitt on Tuesday. The Rhode Island Democrat says Pruitt's participation would violate the Hatch Act, which limits political activity by executive branch employees.

The invitation sent out by the state GOP specifically praised Pruitt's support for cutting federal regulations limiting planet-warming carbon emissions. Before joining the Trump administration, Pruitt often raised campaign money from fossil-fuel companies and their executives.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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