Updated: 5:19 p.m.
Melanie Sloan has decided to remain at the helm of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, reversing her earlier decision to join Clinton administration lawyer Lanny Davis in a private law firm.
Sloan confirmed Friday that she plans to remain at the advocacy group. The Huffington Post first reported Sloan’s decision Thursday.
Sloan, who is CREW’s executive director, announced her plans to leave the group in a November e-mail issued to reporters. At that time, Sloan wrote that she expected to join Davis’ law firm in January, where she would focus on “legal and political crisis work as well as congressional investigations.”
In an e-mail Friday Sloan said: “I have decided to remain at CREW. I am dedicated to the organization I co-founded and have built over the past 8 years. With all of the challenges still ahead, the best place for me is here at CREW, where I can continue working with the entire CREW team to build a better Washington. Lanny Davis is an outstanding lawyer and a wonderful person. He remains a friend and I wish him well.”
Davis said Friday that he was “disappointed” with Sloan’s decision, but “not surprised. It’s sort of leaving your first love, your first creation.”
“This was really her creation,” Davis said of CREW. “She co-founded it. She built it up over eight years. When she talked about joining up with me it was clear that she was torn over leaving CREW.”
He added, “I said, ‘Don’t you dare feel badly; Your heart is still at CREW and I respect that.’”
CREW continued to advertise for a new executive director on its website as of Friday afternoon. A description for the job states that Sloan “is moving on to new challenges at an ideal moment for the organization.”
Davis opened his own legal, lobbying and communications shop, Lanny J. Davis & Associates in 2010, after leaving the firm McDermott Will & Emery. Davis was criticized for signing a contract to represent Equatorial Guinea, a nation with a poor human rights record.