ethics

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says he will sell all of the remaining stock he holds. He announced the move in a statement Thursday night after receiving a letter from the government's top ethics watchdog warning of the "potential for a serious criminal violation."

The letter was sent by David J. Apol, the Acting Director and General Counsel for the Office of Government Ethics. Apol faulted Ross for what he said were various omissions and inaccurate statements submitted to the OGE over the past year.

By the time Scott Pruitt resigned, his conduct as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had become the subject of 12 to 18 investigations, audits and inquiries. It's hard to know the precise number, as only some of the cases are public, but Pruitt may have set some kind of ethics-in-government record.

Ethics advocates are asking how he stayed long enough to trigger that many probes.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, already battling roughly a dozen ethics investigations, allegedly asked a top aide to obtain a used mattress from President Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel.

Millan Hupp, Pruitt's director of scheduling and advance, told House investigators last month that she couldn't track down the mattress, and didn't know if Pruitt ultimately got one.

A spokeswoman for the Trump International Hotel had no comment on any aspect of the story.

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

Emory Rounds III, President Trump's nominee to lead the Office of Government Ethics, got a warm if brief welcome Wednesday from a Senate committee.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., summed up senators' concerns about OGE, which has gone toe-to-toe with the Trump White House several times. Carper asked Rounds, "Are you confident you can maintain independence from this White House, and when necessary hold it accountable?"

Rounds replied, "I certainly intend to do so, yes sir."

If Scott Pruitt arrived on Capitol Hill expecting to be grilled Wednesday, he did not have to wait long to see that expectation fulfilled.

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New Jersey Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez escaped federal criminal prosecution. But he couldn't escape the judgment of his Senate colleagues.

The bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee unanimously issued a rare rebuke on Thursday, formally admonishing the senator for his conduct over a six-year period with his longtime friend and political ally Dr. Salomon Melgen.

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This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the historic teacher walkout which has brought thousands of educators and supporters to call for more school funding and Tulsa oilman George Kaiser says more tax hikes are needed after pay raises for education and state workers last week.

Working With Scott Pruitt

Apr 5, 2018

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