Pruitt dinner included Vatican figure accused of sexual abuse

Among a dozen or so dinner guests at a five-star restaurant in Italy last year were EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt an...

Posted: May 12, 2018 4:31 PM
Updated: May 12, 2018 7:26 PM

Among a dozen or so dinner guests at a five-star restaurant in Italy last year were EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and a controversial Vatican figure who was under investigation for and later charged with sexual abuse.

Scott Pruitt's public schedule for June 9, 2017, said he was having a private dinner with staff, but documents uncovered by The New York Times reveal he was dining with the highest-ranking member of the Catholic Church to be accused in the sex abuse scandal plaguing the global church, Cardinal George Pell.

Pell was under investigation at the time by authorities in Australia, where he had been an archbishop. Later that month, he was charged with abuse.

Pell is also a known climate change denier, a position that aligns with Pruitt, which may explain why he was invited to the dinner. Another dozen or so members of the Holy See also attended, according to a statement from the EPA.

They went to a restaurant called La Terrazza, where meals run up to $240 per plate. The EPA wouldn't say who paid for the guests, but, spokesman Jahan Wilcox said, "Administrator Pruitt paid for all of his meals."

Wilcox also would not say why Pell was kept off the public schedule, saying only that the cardinal was charged 20 days after the dinner.

In a separate statement to CNN, Wilcox said that Pruitt was unaware of Pell's attendance. But the private schedule in a May email obtained by the Times shows he was the only Vatican official named on the schedule for the dinner. It was even noted that the dinner was the day before the cardinal's 76th birthday.

Pruitt was already under scrutiny for this Italy trip, given its $120,000 price tag, and reporting that it was arranged by an activist and friend of Pruitt's, Leonard Leo, an executive with The Federalist Society. Pruitt told members of Congress he went to attend the G7 summit, but spent only one day there, according to his schedule.

The trip is one of dozens of ethical scandals Pruitt is trying to weather as he navigates a path to keeping his job at the EPA. There are nearly a dozen probes underway, and the White House said as recently as Thursday that his actions have? "raised concerns" and they are hoping Pruitt can answer questions about his behavior.

Friday, President Donald Trump told reporters he remains confident in Pruitt's ability to run the agency. He is widely accepted as one of the most effective administrators when it comes to deregulation - something favorable to business but gut-wrenching to environmental groups.

Lafayette
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 42°
Kokomo
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 34°
Rensselaer
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 35°
Lafayette
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 42°
Danville
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 40°
Frankfort
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 36°
Frankfort
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 36°
Monticello
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 37°
Monticello
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 37°
Logansport
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 34°
Windy, But Warmer For Thursday
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 598313

Reported Deaths: 9529
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion826311317
Lake44778676
Allen32331543
Hamilton28818314
St. Joseph27014378
Elkhart24244343
Vanderburgh19012243
Tippecanoe17701128
Johnson14748289
Porter14574166
Hendricks14074244
Madison10768217
Vigo10584177
Clark10428136
Monroe9222109
Delaware8982134
LaPorte8925159
Howard8061141
Kosciusko796782
Warrick657997
Hancock653599
Bartholomew634097
Floyd6270108
Wayne6037159
Grant5893112
Dubois549477
Boone542267
Morgan526294
Henry500764
Marshall497784
Cass477062
Dearborn467645
Noble466157
Jackson419146
Shelby408180
Lawrence385777
Clinton368240
Gibson362659
DeKalb341364
Montgomery338953
Harrison335343
Knox331339
Miami315744
Steuben309844
Whitley299825
Adams297835
Wabash297747
Ripley294945
Putnam290347
Huntington287559
Jasper286234
White269839
Daviess264773
Jefferson255838
Decatur244382
Fayette243948
Greene237062
Posey235227
Wells232247
LaGrange226061
Clay219932
Scott219538
Randolph210445
Jennings195335
Sullivan190033
Spencer185819
Fountain180827
Washington180222
Starke173943
Jay164822
Owen161737
Fulton161430
Carroll154515
Orange153433
Rush152318
Perry149727
Vermillion146733
Franklin145533
Parke12988
Tipton129532
Pike114626
Blackford109522
Pulaski95637
Newton89921
Brown86533
Benton85410
Crawford7769
Martin71013
Warren6637
Switzerland6325
Union6166
Ohio4747
Unassigned0375

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events