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Gift or purchased? Questions raised over Scott Pruitt’s Rose Bowl tickets

OKLAHOMA CITY – EPA leader and former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has seen his fair share of controversy. Now, the Rose Bowl is in the mix.

Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, wants to know how Pruitt scored his seats to the big game.

In a letter to Renzi Stone, whose Oklahoma PR company, Saxum, works with oil and gas companies, Cummings says Pruitt isn’t allowed to accept “gifts” under federal law.

Stone is also a member of the OU Board of Regents.

“At least one of Saxum’s clients, Plains All American Pipeline, currently has a petition before the EPA,” said Cummings in the letter. Cummings also says Pruitt would be required to pay “market value” for the tickets and not accept gifts from a “prohibited source,” which includes someone who “conducts activities regulated by the employee’s agency.”

If Pruitt paid for the tickets in full, “I don`t see anything wrong with that,” said Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Inhofe. “Now, if he were given the tickets and that person has a presence before his jurisdiction, then there would be something wrong with that.”

Rep. Cummings is requesting all documentation pertaining to the Rose Bowl tickets.

Meanwhile, Renzi Stone said on Twitter:

“Each year mid-Dec people call for OU bowl tickets. Scott Pruitt, my friend since 2001, asked through an aide if he could buy Rose Bowl tix. I made connection to OU ticket office. He bought them. That’s it. I’ll respond to Rep. Cummings…we don’t do any work for clients at EPA.”

Senator Inhofe says he plans to chat with Pruitt next week and hopes this isn’t an attempt tarnish his reputation.

"Now, I do know this - there is a media hatred for him as the same as there is for President Trump,” said Inhofe.

The EPA also sent a statement:

“It seems Representative Cummings is misconstruing the facts. Renzi Stone, a friend of Administrator Pruitt and regent to the University of Oklahoma, simply connected Pruitt to the athletic department. Pruitt purchased the tickets at face value from the OU athletic department. To report otherwise, is false. – EPA spokesman, Jahan Wilcox