Wednesday, April 04, 2007

US Attorney Firing Explanation: Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

From TPM Muckraker:

When Justice Department official William Moschella was asked why the Department had fired U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, he told Congress that “Iglesias had delegated to his first assistant the overall running of the office. And, quite frankly, U.S. attorneys are hired to run the office.” Internal documents from the time show officials planning to accuse Iglesias of being an "absentee landlord" to justify his firing.

Iglesias did, in fact, leave the office for 45 days each year. But that's because he's a a captain in the Navy Reserve -- something that was no secret to his superiors.

So now the Office of Special Counsel is investigating whether Iglesias was wrongfully terminated due to his reserve duty, Newsweek reports. It is against the law for employers to discriminate against members of the U.S. military.

Now, as Kyle Sampson admitted last week, there was no real performance reason to fire Iglesias. And in fact, it's indisputable at this point that Iglesias was actually fired because he didn't indict enough Democrats.* So the "absentee landlord" line was just a cover story -- but one that seems to have gotten them into some trouble now.

This is usually the way things go when people try to lie to cover things up. It is not unusual for the lie to get them in just as much trouble as the truth.

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