On Wednesday The Atlantic reported that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s director of scheduling and advance, Millan Hupp has resigned, her last day is Friday.
Hupp made headlines in April, being one of two EPA employees that received a large salary increase, after the White House had denied the request. She again made headlines when she testified to the House Oversight Committee that she routinely did personal tasks for Pruitt, from house-hunting to inquiring how much the Trump hotel in D.C. would charge for purchasing a used mattress.
Later Wednesday,The New York Times reported that senior counsel Sarah Greenwalt had also resigned, she like Hupp had received a pay raise without White House approval, her departure date is likely sometime next week.
The two resignations come as the EPA faces twelve open ethical investigations and growing scrutiny over emails obtained under FOIA requests show that former scheduler Sydney Hupp, Millan Hupp’s sister, was asked to inquire about the purchase of a Chick-fil-A franchise for Scott Pruitt’s wife, the Times reported on Tuesday.
Asked on Wednesday about the purchase Pruitt answered, “My wife is an entrepreneur herself. I love, she loves, we love Chick-fil-A.”
I asked Scott Pruitt a quick question about the reports he tried to help his wife become a Chick-fil-A franchisee.
"With great change comes, I think, opposition…I love, she loves [Chick-fil-A]" pic.twitter.com/gND2tdMq1e
— Jessica Smith (@JessicaASmith8) June 6, 2018
In light of Hupp’s resignation, Pruitt offered a statement, via The Atlantic, “I’ve had the opportunity to know Millan for the last several years as a colleague, friend and trusted partner. She has done outstanding work in all of her endeavors here and will be sorely missed. I wish her all the best.”
Ethical scandals aren’t all that keeps the EPA in the spotlight, it’s also the agencies contentious relationship with the press.
From removing some reporters off the EPA master list emails, to barring reports entry into events as was covered @ The News Blender in May.
The latest dust happened when the writer for the Atlantic, Elina Plott, who was first to report the resignation of Millan Hupp reached out to the EPA, spokesman Jahan Wilcox, offered no comment aside for saying according to the reporter, “You have a great day, you’re a piece of trash.”
In response to the comment Jeffery Goldberg editor in chief for The Atlantic tweeted
"EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox, reached by phone, would not comment. He said: 'You have a great day, you’re a piece of trash.'" Always a good day when our reporters get under the skin of classless flacks. https://t.co/u94iagkS5M
— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) June 6, 2018