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McClatchy Newspaper’s Washington Bureau has this today on the continuing U.S. attorney saga:

Although the Bush administration has said that six U.S. attorneys were fired recently in part because of “performance-related” issues, at least five of them received positive job evaluations before they were ordered to step down. …

Supporters of the attorneys and Justice Department officials familiar with the job evaluations suggested in interviews that top Justice Department officials may have exaggerated the role job performance played in the firings.

Performance reviews of U.S. attorneys are conducted every three to four years by a team of experienced Justice Department officials, who interview judges, staff members, community leaders and federal agents. In some of the five cases, the reviewers made recommendations for improvements, but overall their assessments were positive, Justice Department officials said.

And the story says this about San Diego U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, whose last day is Thursday:

Lam was described in her 2005 evaluation as “well respected” by law enforcement officials, judges and her staff. Overall the review was positive.


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