The New York Times ran a couple of stories over the weekend that continued to follow departed U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, who resigned earlier this month amid political pressure.

A Sunday story detailed praise for Lam and several other departed U.S. attorneys in their most recent evaluations.

It says:

Another report, dated Feb. 7-11, 2005 evaluating the performance of Carol C. Lam, who was dismissed as the United States attorney in San Diego, concluded that she was “an effective manager and respected leader in the district.”

And an opinion column by editorial observer Adam Cohen today details three theories for the recent purge of U.S. attorneys nationwide.

It begins:

Carol Lam, the former United States attorney for San Diego, is smart and tireless and was very good at her job. Her investigation of Representative Randy Cunningham resulted in a guilty plea for taking more than $2 million in bribes from defense contractors and a sentence of more than eight years. …

In many Justice Departments, her record would have won her awards, and perhaps a promotion to a top post in Washington. In the Bush Justice Department, it got her fired.

ROB DAVIS

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