Saturday, April 07, 2007

Shake Up at the MN U.S. Attorney's Office

MINNEAPOLIS -- It’s a major shakeup at the offices of new U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose.

Four of her top staff voluntarily demoted themselves Thursday, fed up with Paulose, who, after just months on the job, has earned a reputation for quoting Bible verses and dressing down underlings.

Deputy U.S. Attorney John Marty is just one of the people dropping themselves in rank to simply a U.S. Attorney position. Also making the move are the heads of Paulose’s criminal and civil divisions and the top administrative officer.

The move is intended to send a message to Washington – that 33-year-old Paulose is in over her head.

Paulose was appointed before the 8 U.S. Attorneys were given their pink slips, but she has deep connections to the scandal.

She was a special assistant to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, worked as a senior counsel for deputy attorney general Paul McNulty and is best buds with Monica Goodling – the assistant U.S. Attorney who recently took the Fifth rather than testify before Congress.

Add to the suspicions the fact that Minnesota’s former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger stepped down just as the White House was developing its hit list.

Heffelfinger responds to questions whether he was forced out by saying, “emphatically no.” But there’s been a lot of speculation that Heffelfinger, a moderate Republican, may have been able to read the writing on the wall.

And indeed, some of the early White House memos indicate three people on the hit list resigned before they could be fired.

Paulose was not available for comment on the shake-up.

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