Authorities in Alabama last Thursday arrested the Trump administration’s top environmental official for the southeastern United States.
Trey Glenn, 47, was charged in connection with a purported scheme to help a coal company avoid paying for a costly toxic waste cleanup. He denies the allegations.
Before joining the Environmental Protection Agency, he and a business partner, also charged, were paid to help the company fend off a Superfund cleanup in Birmingham that it would have had to help pay for, The Associated Press reported. Glenn was released on $30,000 bond.
Glenn went to EPA during the abbreviated tenure of administrator Scott Pruitt, who quit the post in July after facing a dozen ethics embroilments of his own.
These instances involved first-class plane travel, a Washington D.C. room he rented from a friendly energy lobbyist at $50 per night, "scrubbing" his public calendar of controversial events, and for some reason, installation of a soundproof booth in his office.
At the Interior Department, Secretary Ryan Zinke has weathered multiple investigations. One has been referred by the department's acting inspector general to the Justice Department. It focuses on whether Zinke used his office for personal gain in connection with a land deal with well-heeled investors in his hometown of Whitefish, Mont.
According to The Washington Post, public records show Zinke also arranged meetings with several billionaires and took 66 days of personal leave during his first 18 months on the job.
Tom Price, Trump's first Health and Human Services secretary, had his tenure shortened by a scandal over taxpayer-funded charter flights.
One year ago, it was disclosed that after becoming Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross kept investments in a shipping firm with business ties to a U.S.-sanctioned Russian oligarch and President Vladimir V. Putin’s son-in-law.
Even when events might not fit the consensually accepted definition of a full-blown scandal, there are certainly controversies.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has invoked as his mission the cleanup of squalid residences.
But NBC reports that during the Trump administration, the number of HUD apartments cited for unsafe, unhealthy and physically deteriorating living conditions has been rising.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been sued by interested parties for allegedly failing to comply as ordered by a federal judge with regulations meant to protect student loan borrowers.
At the Department of Veterans Affairs, other issues persist that may appear operational. Computer problems have caused benefit payments to be stalled or canceled.
Nearly a year ago the nonprofit government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington accused Trump of leading "the most unethical presidency" in modern times.
“The Trump administration is confronted by an extraordinary scale and scope of legal and ethics scandals,” its report said.