U.S. President Donald Trump has announced the resignation of Scott Pruitt, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Mr Trump in a tweet announcing the resignation said Mr Pruitt’s deputy, Andrew Wheeler, would assume duty on Monday as Acting Administrator.
“I have accepted the resignation of Scott Pruitt as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Within the Agency, Scott has done an outstanding job, and I will always be thankful to him for this.
“The Senate confirmed Deputy at EPA, Andrew Wheeler, will on Monday assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA.
“I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda. We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!” Mr Trump tweeted.
Pruitt was on Monday confronted while dining with a friend at Teaism restaurant in Washington, D.C., by a teacher identified as Kristin Mink, 33, holding her two-year-old son.
He was Trump’s point man for the administration’s plan to roll back environmental regulations, many of which were put in place by the former President Barack Obama administration.
Mr Pruitt moved to quash or replace numerous environmental regulations opposed by industry lobbyists while boosting the continued burning of fossil fuels, which scientists have concluded is the primary cause of climate change.
His tenure was quickly overshadowed by a number of controversies, including spending 25,000 dollars retrofitting his D.C. office to include a soundproof booth, another 9,600 dollars on office furniture, 3,000 dollars to have the space swept for bugs and surveillance equipment, and another 1,560 dollars on a dozen custom pens.
He was caught taking a 163,000 dollars first-class, chartered, taxpayer-funded flight to watch Wimbledon tennis tournament in 2017, and rented an apartment in D.C. that lists for 4,300 dollars a month for just 50 dollars a night but only paid for the nights that he actually slept there.