Thursday, July 30, 2009 | 1:39 p.m.
WASHINGTON -Another staff member is leaving Republican Sen. John Ensign’s office, according to a columnist for the Las Vegas Sun.
Sun columnist Jon Ralston is reporting this afternoon that John Min, a regional representative for the senator’s office in Las Vegas, has told friends he is leaving to pursue a doctoral degree.
Last week, Ensign’s office announced that his chief of staff and communications director were stepping down.
Ensign admitted last month to an affair with a former campaign staffer, whose husband was one of the senator’s top aides at the time. Ensign’s attorney later said the senator’s parents paid $96,000 to the woman and her family.
Ensign’s attorney has called the payment a gift, but an ethics group has asked federal authorities for an investigation.
Min handled Bureau of Land Managmenet issues for the senator and is leaving to pursue a doctoral degree in philosophy, Ralston wrote.
According to Ralston, Min gave no indication the senator’s problems caused him to leave, writing in an email: “This is an incredible opportunity that I could not pass up. I am thankful for Senator Ensign’s leadership and vision for the state of Nevada and country.”
Records show that Min had previously worked as a field representative for former Republican Rep. Jon Porter, who was defeated for re-election last fall.
Min came to work for Ensign in January.
The senator’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.