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Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt had one of his top aides contact Republican donors about finding his wife a job, a directive that ultimately secured her a position with a conservative legal group, The Washington Post says.
The report comes on the heels of the revelation that Pruitt assigned another aide to inquire with Chick-fil-A about getting his wife a valuable fast food franchise. It also comes as Democratic lawmakers press the EPA's inspector general to investigate a growing body of evidence that Pruitt regularly keeps his staff and security detail busy with his personal business.
It is against federal rules for government officials to ask a subordinate to perform personal tasks for them or to use one's office for personal gain. Pruitt and his agency face about a dozen investigations into spending, management and other issues.
The Post reports that former EPA policy aide Samantha Dravis reached out to wealthy Republicans about finding Marlyn Pruitt work at his request. A friend of Dravis told the Post the aide was uncomfortable using the political network to help the Pruitts supplement their income.
The effort led to an independent contracting position for Marlyn Pruitt to help set up a new office for Judicial Crisis Network, a spokesperson for the conservative group told the Post. She left the position earlier this year, the spokesperson said, but did not disclose her salary or how long she served in the position.
The spokesperson said the group received Marlyn Pruitt's resume from Leonard Leo, a longtime friend of Scott Pruitt and executive vice president of the Federalist Society, another conservative group.
At least one Republican donor, Doug Deason, told the Post he declined to hire Marlyn Pruitt because his family business has interests in oil and gas that pose conflicts of interest, given Scott Pruitt's role as the nation's top environmental regulator.
Marlyn Pruitt, who raised the couple's two children while her husband built a legal practice and pursued his political career, was a school nurse in the early 1990s.
An EPA spokesperson referred the Post's request for comment to Pruitt's legal counsel, who did not respond. Marlyn Pruitt did not return an inquiry from the newspaper.
Read the Post's full story here.