WASHINGTON — The Latest on allegations of ethical violations against Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it will respond “through the proper channel” to lawmakers’ requests for documents related to a high-ranking political staffer’s claim that he was forced out after questioning Administrator Scott Pruitt’s travel and spending.

House and Senate Democrats sent letters Thursday to President Donald Trump and Pruitt describing a meeting the lawmakers had with Kevin Chmielewski, who has been placed on involuntary, unpaid leave from his positon as EPA’s deputy chief of staff for operations.

Chmielewski, who served as a key staffer for the Trump campaign before being hired at EPA, says he faced retaliation after pushing back against the spending, which included first-class travel.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said Pruitt will respond “through the proper channel.”


11:47 a.m.

A high-ranking political staffer at the Environmental Protection Agency has told lawmakers he faced retaliation after pushing back against outsized spending demands from Administrator Scott Pruitt and his top aides.

House and Senate Democrats sent letters Thursday to President Donald Trump and Pruitt describing a meeting they had with Kevin Chmielewski, who was recently placed on involuntary, unpaid leave from his positon as EPA’s deputy chief of staff for operations.

Chmielewski is a Republican who served as a key staffer for the Trump campaign before being hired at EPA last year to help oversee spending at the agency. He says he was forced out after questioning Pruitt’s travel and security spending, including the administrator’s use of first-class flights.

EPA’s press office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.