Pruitt Terminates No-Bid Contract with GOP ‘Media Monitoring’ Firm 24 Hours After EWG and American Oversight Call for Inquiry
WASHINGTON – Less than 24 hours after American Oversight and Environmental Working Group called on the Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General to investigate the agency’s no-bid contract with a Republican opposition research and media consulting firm, EPA announced it has ended the contract.
Following the American Oversight-EWG push for an IG inquiry, Democratic Senators Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., sent a letter to Administrator Pruitt demanding he terminate the contract. Public Citizen, along with two public relations firms, Fenton Communications and New Heights Communications urged the Government Accountability Office to recommend EPA cancel the contract.
Mother Jones first broke the news of the $120,000 no-bid contract with Definers Public Affairs on Friday, December 15.
By terminating the contract with Definers Public Affairs, Pruitt may avoid a potential inquiry by the IG‘s office.
“There is clearly something about the contract with this firm Administrator Pruitt would like to keep as secret as those conversations he holds in his private phone booth,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Pruitt makes decisions nearly everyday that are wildly unpopular with the American people and public interest groups, so why terminate a contract he claims was strictly for ‘media monitoring’ services?”