Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fredo's Florida Problem

Has anyone noticed that Florida is suffering directly from the spreading Alberto Gonzales scandal?

Top rats have been diving off the sinking ship of the Attorney General's office for three weeks. First, there was the resignation of Gonzales' former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson. Next, director of the U.S. Attorneys Executive Office, Michael Battle, quit. Late Friday afternoon, Monica Goodling resigned with a three-sentence exception to her Fifth Amendment plea to remain silent.

Just as bad, subordinates down the line are voluntarily demoting themselves to get out of harm's way. It's getting harder and harder for anyone with self-respect to work in the once-prestigious position of U.S. Attorney under Gonzales' mis-leadership.

Apparently, that includes Florida lawyers. Yesterday, McClatchy News Service picked up this tidbit:
The lawyer also said he'd spoken with two assistant U.S. attorneys who'd been approached to fill vacant U.S. attorney positions in Arizona, California, Florida and New Mexico. He said they declined to be considered because "The turmoil is just not worth it."
The vacancy mentioned is in the Middle District of Florida, headquartered in Tampa. There, Paul Perez resigned as U.S. Attorney late last month to take a job with Fidelity National Financial. No permanent replacement has been named. Instead, deputy USA James Klindt will serve as "acting U.S. Attorney".

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) questions whether the resignation is connected to Gonzales' politicalization of the Justice Department. A protest letter Perez signed a few months ago was dismissed by the disgraced McNulty on the grounds "it didn't sound like it was from members of the same team."

With 19 consecutive years in the U.S. Attorney's office, Kindt looks to be a lifer. So, it seems unlikely he qualified for the "acting" position solely by being a "loyal Bushie."

But that's one of the problems posed by when you have a disreputable liar like Alberto Gonzales serving as U.S. Attorney General: no one can ever be sure the moral infection hasn't spread.

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