Scott Pruitt ‘Defied’ White House to Give Raises to Favorite EPA Aides

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has taken yet another hit after a report out Tuesday claims he bypassed the White House to hand out big pay rises to his favored aides after an initial request was rejected. The Atlantic reports the White House refused a request from Pruitt to raise the salaries of Sarah Greenwalt and Millan Hupp—both staffers who came to Washington from Oklahoma, where Pruitt was attorney general—so he found a loophole to be able to pay them more. The Safe Drinking Water Act allows the EPA administrator to hire as many as 30 people, and the aides were reportedly rehired under a provision that handed control of their contracts over to Pruitt. The report states that, although Hupp and Greenwalt’s duties did not change, the EPA began processing them for raises of $28,130 and $56,765, respectively, compared with their 2017 salaries. The paperwork was completed two weeks after the initial request was lodged with the White House. One EPA official told The Atlantic, “This whole thing has completely gutted any morale I had left to put up with this place.”