SCHLOZMAN…. A thorough investigation of the Justice Department by its inspector general covered so much ground over the last year, it had to be broken up into parts. The first couple documented six years of illegal hiring practices throughout the DoJ, based solely on political and ideological considerations. The latest covers the scandalous leadership of the department’s civil rights division.
Investigators say a former top Justice Department official made false statements to Congress and violated federal law in overseeing the agency’s civil rights division.
The accusations are included in a new report by the Justice Department’s Inspector General on Bradley Schlozman, the former acting head of the civil rights division.
The report says Schlozman politicized and mistreated his staff and tried to punish agency employees he believed were too liberal. The report cited an e-mail in which he noted it had been a while since he’d had to “scream with a bloodcurdling cry at some commie.”
If Schlozman’s work isn’t familiar to you, his “leadership” of the civil rights division was almost comically ridiculous.
Karen Stevens, Tovah Calderon and Teresa Kwong had a lot in common. They had good performance ratings as career lawyers in the Justice Department’s civil rights division. And they were minority women transferred out of their jobs [three] years ago — over the objections of their immediate supervisors — by Bradley Schlozman, then the acting assistant attorney general for civil rights.
Schlozman ordered supervisors to tell the women that they had performance problems or that the office was overstaffed. But one lawyer, Conor Dugan, told colleagues that the recent Bush appointee had confided that his real motive was to “make room for some good Americans” in that high-impact office, according to four lawyers who said they heard the account from Dugan.
In another politically tinged conversation recounted by former colleagues, Schlozman asked a supervisor if a career lawyer who had voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a onetime political rival of President Bush, could still be trusted.
When investigators asked Schlozman if he engaged in inappropriate hiring and/or personnel practices, he denied everything, reality notwithstanding.
David Kurtz noted, “Interestingly, the report is dated July 2, 2008, but was only released today. I’m speculating here, but I suspect that’s because the findings were referred to DOJ for possible prosecution of Schlozman.”
That’s probably true. The AP noted that investigators referred the Schlozman matter to prosecutors last spring, but they decided just last week not to file criminal charges.
It’s a shame. The systemic and chronic lawbreaking in Bush’s Justice Department warranted more than a few arrests.