Top Pruitt Aide Resigns From EPA

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt / Getty Images
April 5, 2018

A top aide to Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is leaving the agency.

Samantha Dravis, who serves as the EPA's senior counsel and associate administrator of the agency's Office of Policy, announced plans last week to depart the Trump administration and return to the private sector, the New York Daily News reports.

The Washington Post reported her departure was not the result of ethics issues swirling around Pruitt and the agency. According to the Post:

Samantha Dravis, a longtime adviser who serves as senior counsel and associate administrator in EPA’s office of policy, submitted her resignation last week to work in the private sector. Her decision to leave is unrelated to Pruitt’s recent ethics woes, according to several agency officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter. But it comes at a time when he is relying on an increasingly narrow set of advisers to navigate decision-making.

Pruitt has come under fire for his luxury travel arrangements, renting a condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist for $50 a night, and awarding large raises to two top aides.

The departure, even if unconnected to the ethics issues surrounding Pruitt and the agency, comes at an inopportune moment.

"It has been an honor to serve in this role at EPA, and I am enormously grateful for the opportunity," Dravis said in a statement. "I wish Administrator Pruitt and all of the public servants at EPA the very best."

This is not Dravis' first brush with controversy since joining the administration. In the past, Dravis allegedly dated disgraced former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter. It has been reported that Dravis was one of the first individuals to contact White House Counsel Don McGahn's office to alert the administration of the abuse allegations leveled against Porter by his ex-wives.

Prior to joining the EPA, Dravis served as president of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a group that describes itself as "the public policy organization for issues relevant to the nation’s Republican attorneys general." Dravis knew Pruitt, a former attorney general of Oklahoma, from her work there.