Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Calls On EPA Administrator Pruitt To Reveal Deputy’s Conflicts Of Interest Due To Outside Consulting Work
WASHINGTON, DC — Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi today called on EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to make public the clients of EPA Deputy Associate Administrator of Public Affairs John Konkus, who is currently providing consulting services concurrent to his public official position. This is extremely troubling, even more so because Mr. Konkus’ responsibilities include overseeing hundreds of millions of federal grant dollars. In August, an EPA ethics lawyer noted that Mr. Konkus’ outside contracts presented a “financial conflict of interest” to the agency but a list of his consulting clients has not been released.
The text of Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s letter follows and the signed letter is viewable here.
March 6, 2018
Administrator Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
Dear Administrator Pruitt,
On March 5th, the Associated Press reported that EPA Deputy Associate Administrator of Public Affairs, John Konkus, was granted permission to earn outside money as a private consultant while simultaneously working as one of your key aides. Importantly, in August, an EPA ethics lawyer noted that Konkus’ outside contracts presented a “financial conflict of interest” to the agency. Unfortunately, you have thus far chosen to withhold the names of the clients who receive the benefits of Konkus’ private consulting while he is concurrently responsible for signing off on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grants.
As a federal employee, John Konkus earns a taxpayer-funded salary of approximately $145,000 per year. If you are going to permit federal employees to receive a side salary as consultants, it is imperative that you disclose the names of their clients to the American people who are responsible for paying their salaries. Taxpayers trust that our federal agencies will act with the utmost integrity and fairness, and it is critical that all are transparent about any consulting work that might be deemed as a conflict of interest.
The EPA has an obligation disclose to the public any private consulting work that is conducted by its own federal employees. Specifically, I respectfully request that you make public the clients that Deputy Associate Administrator Konkus has consulted on behalf of while working for the EPA.
Please disclose this information to the public within the next ten days. If you are unable to do so, please provide a date at which time this information will be available.
Member of Congress
 Biesecker, Michael. “EPA Appointee Gets Approval to Consult for Outside Clients.” The Associated Press, 5 Mar. 2018.