EPA Attorney who gave Scott Pruitt ethics advice is leaving the agency

The EPA attorney who made some controversial ethics decisions for former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is leaving the agency in the coming weeks.

Kevin Minoli, EPA’s principal deputy general counsel and designated agency ethics official plans to leave the agency at the end of September and join a Washington D.C. law firm.

“I made this choice. It is a choice to pursue a new opportunity that will challenge me in ways I haven’t been challenged before. It allows me to focus on the practice of law, and on being the very best lawyer I can be. And it is a choice that I am very excited about,” he said in a video statement.

Minoli has been with the EPA for nearly 18 years and like Pruitt, came under criticism for the ethics recommendations he offered Pruitt. Among them, the travel and housing for Pruitt.

In one case, he gave a retroactive written approval in a memo for Pruitt and his staff to use a charter jet rather than commercial airlines to fly to Durango, Colorado.

He also wrote two memos about Pruitt’s rental last year of a Washington D.C. condo linked to a lobbyist.

“I would say while the day may have been an intense one, when the time came, I am confident that the memo I wrote was my own and it was not done under the direction or the pressure of anyone,” Minoli said at the time.

He also was responsible for Pruitt’s excessive spending and misuse of the office. But reports indicate the problems with Pruitt’s ethics issues were not behind Minoli’s departure.