CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Youngest US Attorney is Now the Subject to Investgation

From the nation's youngest U.S. attorney Rachel K. Pauloseis the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel into allegations that she mishandled classified information, retaliated against those who crossed her, and made racist remarks about a support staff employee, said multiple sources in Minnesota and Washington, who declined to be identified because the probe is still under way.

In addition, an internal Justice Department audit completed last month said her employees gave her very low marks, alleging that she treats subordinates harshly and lacks the requisite experience for the job, said several sources familiar with the audit. Her performance review was so poor that Kenneth E. Melson, head of the department's Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, took the unusual step of meeting with her in Minnesota several weeks ago, two sources said.

The Justice Department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility are also examining the Minnesota office as part of a broader investigation into personnel issues at Justice, although that inquiry does not specifically deal with Paulose's performance, sources said.

The case provides a key example of the unresolved challenges that will face former federal judge Michael B. Mukasey if he is confirmed to succeed Alberto R. Gonzales, who resigned as attorney general this month. Temporary appointees fill a quarter of the U.S. attorney offices and most of the department's senior jobs in Washington, while internal and congressional investigations into the problems at Justice are likely to continue well into next year. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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