New probes underway into EPA chief Scott Pruitt's conduct

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New probes underway into EPA chief Scott Pruitt's conduct
FILE - In this June 2, 2017 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Several new and expanded probes are underway into Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s conduct.

EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins is now conducting at least five investigative audits related to Pruitt, including a previously undisclosed probe into outsized spending and alleged timesheet abuse by his swollen security detail. The Associated Press reported Friday that the 20-member team providing day-and-night protection for Pruitt had racked up expenses approaching million in his first year.

Elkins also has opened an audit into whether Pruitt improperly used authority granted under the Safe Drinking Water Act to provide massive raises to two of his closest aides. There also are ongoing investigations into his outsized travel spending and purchase of a ,000 soundproof phone booth.