Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt spent $9,000 in taxpayer funds to have his office swept for surveillance bugs, while installing specialized biometric locks on his office doors.
Biometric locks that require a person's fingerprint to gain access were installed earlier in the year and were spread over two purchases of $3,390 and $2,495.
The agency defended the contracts by saying Pruitt has had multiple death threats, while pointing out that the decisions were taken by EPA security services and not Pruitt himself.
“Administrator Pruitt has received an unprecedented amount of threats against him, and while the Associated Press attempts to trivialize his safety, there is nothing nefarious about security decisions made by EPA’s Protective Service Detail,” said Jahan Wilcox, spokesman for the agency.
Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the first EPA head under the Obama administration, had her office swept for bugs, according to Wilcox.
AP reported the new costs as the EPA inspector general investigates why the agency spent $25,000 to build a special soundproof chamber for Pruitt where his phone calls and conversations cannot be over heard.