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Breaking: OIG And OPR Confirms Politicization Of Hiring At DOJ

The Office Of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility at the Department of Justice have issued a joint inspection report regarding two of the most prestigious fast track programs to DOJ career hire status — and the politicized hiring selection process that has been in place for the last few years. Readers will recall testimony from Monica Goodling, Alberto Gonzales, Bradley Schlozman, Kyle Sampson and many others on these issues.

The full report is available as a PDF here. From the report summary, beginning on page 92:

…[W]e concluded that McDonald committed misconduct and violated Department policies and civil service law by considering political or ideological affiliations in assessing Honors Program and SLIP candidates. (93)

[W]e concluded that Elston violated federal law and Department policy by deselecting candidates based on their liberal affiliations. (94)

We also concluded that Elston committed misconduct, and violated federal law and Department policy, when he deselected candidates and denied appeals based on his perception of the political or ideological affiliations of the candidates. (96)

We also concluded that OARM Director DeFalaise did not adequately or timely address the concerns that were brought to his attention concerning the Screening Committee’s deselections. (96)

Finally, we concluded that Acting Associate Attorney General Mercer did not adequately address the concerns that were brought to his attention by several senior Department officials that the Screening Committee’s deselections appeared to have been politicized. (97)…

[A]n OARM employee … recalled that one of the [deselected] candidates she raised to DeFalaise’s attention was first in his law school class at Georgetown University, had clerked for a federal district court judge, and was currently clerking for a Second Circuit judge. [footnote 41: This candidate also had worked as a law clerk for Senator Russell Feingold, a Democrat, and for Human Rights Watch, but the OARM employee does not recall pointing out the candidate’s political or ideological affiliations to DeFalaise at this time.] (59-60)…

[Records of applicants destroyed]

The Committee used paper copies of the applications on which Fridman and McDonald made handwritten notations about the applicants, but those documents were destroyed prior to the initiation of our investigation. (68,69) (emphasis mine)

Allow this to soak in for a moment: documentary evidence in personnel files at the US Department of Justice was destroyed, including notes on hiring decisions and other pertinent documents which are generally kept in all cases for review by employers nationwide should there be discrimination or other claims which require later review. They were destroyed. As in missing, taken out of the files, not there…before the OIG and the OPR could look at them.

There will be a lot more on this to come, but that stood out like a big flashing sign to me — people at the department of justice destroyed evidence in a matter being investigated within the department by the OIG. Jeebus, we are going to have a lot of work to do cleaning up after these asshats.

(YouTube via Veracifier.)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com