published on April 10, 2017 - 12:17 PM
Written by Associated Press

(AP) — California’s attorney general announced Friday he is seeking documents that could show conflicts of interest and ethics violations by the man President Donald Trump appointed to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, the latest episode in the ongoing feud between Golden State officials and the Trump administration.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the agency for documents related to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Becerra’s office said Pruitt has conflicts of interest in his new role overseeing federal environmental regulations because he sued the agency multiple times while he was attorney general of Oklahoma.

Pruitt sued or took part in legal actions against the EPA 14 times.

“The public has a right to know whether Administrator Pruitt and EPA are complying with federal ethics laws,” Becerra, a Democrat, said in a statement. “Mr. Pruitt’s numerous conflicts of interest merit close examination now that he has taken a direct role in initiating reviews of numerous EPA regulations he sought to undo through litigation.”

In a letter to the EPA, Becerra requested documents in dozens of categories, including those related to ethics agreements by Pruitt and the administrator’s communications about federal climate change policies.

Bill Glenn, a spokesman for the EPA on the West Coast, deferred comment to officials in Washington, who could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

In February, Democratic leaders of the California Legislature filed a Freedom of Information Act request with federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement asking for documents related to a surge in immigration enforcement activity in California under Trump.

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