Top EPA ethics lawyer to leave agency for private sector

Top EPA ethics lawyer to leave agency for private sector

The top ethics official at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday that he is leaving the agency for a job at a law firm.

Kevin Minoli, the EPA’s designated ethics official who called for investigations into former Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE, said in a video message that he plans to leave his post at the end of September, adding that he knows “there will be questions about why I’m making this choice and why I’m making it now.”

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“I made this choice,” he said. “It’s a choice to pursue a new opportunity that will challenge me in ways that I haven’t been challenged before. It allows me to focus on the practice of law and in becoming the very best lawyer that I can be.”

Minoli did not specify in the video the name of the law firm where he'll be working, but E&E News reported that he will be a partner at Alston & Bird LLP, a firm in Washington, D.C. The law firm did not immediately respond to a request from The Hill seeking confirmation.

EPA General Counsel Matt Leopold hailed Minoli's work at the agency.

“Kevin has served the Agency admirably for over 18 years. As he mentioned to OGC staff in his departure note he is pursuing new challenges, and we wish him nothing but the best on the next stage of his career,” Leopold said in a statement. 

Minoli in June reportedly called for independent investigations into possible ethics violations by Pruitt, writing in a letter to the Office of Government Ethics that “potential issues regarding Mr. Pruitt have come to my attention through sources within the EPA and media reports.”

Pruitt resigned in July over several ethics and spending scandals that left him facing more than a dozen investigations.

Miranda Green contributed. Updated at 4:33 p.m.