Monday, May 14, 2007

What Will Happen With the McNulty Memo?

Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty's resignation letter is a short three paragraphs (see WSJ here).  As noted here, he is resigning to return to the private sector in order to pay tuition for college age children. But this raises some questions. First he doesn't seem to have another job lined up to pay that college tuition, and second is that the timing of this decision raises some eyebrows.  Now in fairness to question one, he does intend to stay on for awhile to assure a "smooth transition," so one can say that this leaves him time to find a job that will assist him with the college tuition payments.  But the bottom line is that this is not the first person walking away from Attorney General Gonzales.  Whether the reason is the pressure of recent weeks with respect to the Attorney General "firings" or the poor funding for this position, McNulty's departure should cause some re-evaluation within the DOJ. And what will this mean to corporate prosecutions?  From the Holder Memo, to the Thompson Memo, to the most recent McNulty Memo, we have seen each Deputy AG place his fingerprints on what will be the operating guidance with respect to corporate prosecutions.  At some point you have to stop and ask whether prosecutorial discretion should be dependent on the individual filling the shoes of the Deputy AG.

See  here AG Gonzales statement on McNulty's departure.

(esp)

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