DOJ: Former aide broke law in hiring scandal

By | July 29, 2008

Top aides to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales broke the law by letting politics influence the hiring of career prosecutors and immigration judges at the Justice Department, says an internal report released Monday.

Gonzales was largely unaware of the hiring decisions by two of his most trusted aides, according to the report by Justice’s Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility.

But it singles out his former White House liaison, Monica Goodling, for violating federal law and Justice Department policy by discriminating against job applicants who weren’t Republican or conservative loyalists.

“Goodling improperly subjected candidates for certain career positions to the same politically based evaluation she used on candidates for political positions,” the report concluded.

In one instance, Justice investigators found, Goodling objected to hiring an assistant prosecutor in Washington because “judging from his resume, he appeared to be a liberal Democrat.”

In another, she rejected an experienced terror prosecutor to work on counterterror issues at a Justice Department headquarters office “because of his wife’s political affiliations,” the report found. – ap

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