Pruitt’s Head of Security Resigns

The head of EPA’s Scott Pruitt’s security team, who was accused of validating Pruitt’s first-class travel, has resigned.

Pasquale “Nino” Perrotta’s last day is Tuesday, according to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) source. Perrotta also confirmed to ABC News that he was resigning.

“All of this press is taking a toll on my family. I decided to move on and it’s been an honor to serve,” he told the network on Tuesday.

The former Secret Service agent has lately been under scrutiny for his decisions as Pruitt’s security chief as well as due to reports that he used his power to influence a number of EPA security contracts. Pruitt, on several occasions, has said that Perrotta as the security officer was the one that signed off his first-class travel.

Speaking in front of two House committees last week, Pruitt cited his security team for the recommendation that he should travel in seats near the front of the plane when on work-related trips. Pruitt said he has since decided to change that policy.

Perrotta accompanied Pruitt as part of his 24-hour security detail on his trip to Italy and the Vatican last June. The trip cost more than $120,000, according to internal EPA travel vouchers released through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Part of Pruitt’s security team abroad was also made up of local Italians who aided efforts on the ground. Kevin Chmielewski, a former EPA political aide, gave information to lawmakers in early April that Perrotta personally chose the Italian security team, as he was friends with them.

Pruitt thanked Perrotta for his service in a statement.

“Nino Perrotta has selflessly served the American people for more than 23 years, beginning his career as a special agent with the United States Secret Service and then serving four EPA Administrators. His hard work and dedication will be missed by all those who worked with him. I want to thank him for his service and wish him the very best in retirement,” said Pruitt.

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