EPA’s top watchdog quits amid probes of agency’s leadership

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top watchdog at the Environmental Protection Agency is stepping down amid ongoing probes of the agency’s leadership.

EPA inspector general Arthur A. Elkins Jr. says in a statement that he’s leaving the agency for an unspecified job outside of government.

Jeffrey Lagda, a spokesman for the agency’s inspector general’s office, says Elkins’ departure is not in protest of any action by the agency.

Elkins’ office is an independently-funded ethics watchdog within the EPA. His departure comes as the EPA’s inspector general’s office is pursuing a series of probes focusing on ethics allegations against former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt.

Pruitt was accused of abusing his EPA post for personal gain and luxury perks. Pruitt resigned earlier this summer.

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