The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) paid $1,560 for a dozen customized silver fountain pens for Administrator Scott Pruitt, according to internal emails.
The pens, made by a Washington-based jewelry store, included an EPA seal and Pruitt’s signature, The Washington Post first reported Friday.
Each of the pens cost taxpayers $130, according to an email exchange between an account manager and Pruitt’s political aide and scheduler Millan Hupp.
The $1,560 order was among a larger $3,230 order that included personalized journals from Tiny Jewel Box, a store that calls itself D.C.’s “premier destination for fine jewelry and watches.”
“The cost of the Qty. 12 Fountain Pens will be around $1,560.00,” the retailer told Hupp on August 14, “All the other items total cost is around $1,670.00 which these items are in process. Please advise.”
“Yes, please order,” Hupp responded. “Thank you.”
“These purchases were made for the purpose of serving as gifts to the Administrator’s foreign counterparts and dignitaries upon his meeting with them,” said EPA spokesman Jhan Wilcox in a statement. “This adheres to the same protocol of former EPA Administrators and were purchased using funds budgeted for such a purpose.”
Pruitt has faced criticism for ordering a $43,000 soundproof booth, $9,600 in office decor and spending thousands on first-class travel.
The administrator has also been accused of misusing taxpayer money on a 24/7 security team, which has cost EPA $3.5 million in his first year.