Chmielewski again comes through with the details: "EPA staffers met routinely in Pruitt's office to 'scrub, ' alter or remove from Pruitt's official calendar numerous records because they might 'look bad, ' according to Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt's former deputy chief of staff for operations, who attended the meetings". I have no doubt and complete confidence he will continue the important deregulatory work that Scott Pruitt started while being a good steward of the environment.
Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, made a name for himself by suing the very agency he would end up leading, urging the EPA to roll back regulations.
Pruitt was under scrutiny for months over first-class travel at taxpayer expense, security spending, connections with lobbyists and industry groups, accusations of using his office for favors, a $43,000 soundproof phone booth for his office and his rental of a high-end condo from an energy lobbyist's wife. The person in charge of the EPA's FOIA staff, which has slow-walked and obstructed FOIA requests, is a political ally of Pruitt's and the former treasurer of his PAC. "However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally (and) my family are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us".
The list of accusations levelled against the 50-year-old EPA chief had grown nearly too long to itemise. All tolerated because Trump liked his zealotry. Trump added that he "will always be thankful to him for this".
Wheeler spent four years at the EPA's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics during the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations. Trump told reporters later that Pruitt had approached him and offered to resign, as opposed to being pushed out.
Despite Pruitt's short tenure, he was able to have a big impact on environmental policy, rolling back protections from former President Barack Obama's tenure.
Pruitt also is accused of excessive spending on travel, staying at expensive hotels while traveling - even if they exceeded allowable federal spending limits - and telling staff to book flights on Delta Air Lines so he could accrue frequent flier mileage.
The acting chief is known for being highly effective in his work and avoiding the sorts of personal scandals that consumed Pruitt. Some 170 lawmakers signed a resolution calling for Pruitt to resign.
He was just one of a number of whistle-blowers at the EPA to raise the alarm about Mr Pruitt's behavior to Congress, where many Republicans now appear to be losing their patience with the environment chief.