President Obama – promise me you’ll clean house?

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Do these people have no shame?

The LA Times is reporting that the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles has been trying to ring up impressive numbers – by having his prosecutors going after, well, parking violators:

The disgruntled prosecutors in Los Angeles say they are now spending an exorbitant amount of time working on less significant cases — mail theft, smaller drug offenses and illegal immigration — to reach quotas. They cited the recent disbanding of the office’s public integrity and environmental crimes section, a unit with a history of working on complex police corruption and political corruption cases, as evidence of a shift toward high-volume, low-quality prosecutions . . .

The decision to set numeric goals appears to be unprecedented in the recent history of the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles. U.S. attorneys going back to the early 1990s said they had no such goals.

The move was part of a broader office restructuring to address a severe staffing shortage and steadily declining productivity, which had fallen 30% or 40% from 2001, O’Brien said.

Think about it: Declining numbers since 2001. Hmmm, I wonder what would’ve happened in 2001 that would’ve caused federal prosecutors to decrease the number of piddling little cases they took on? I wonder whether they might have had to start working instead on bigger, more significant cases that involved, oh, say, congressmen and so on? Like, say, Carol Lam’s work that led to the conviction of Republican Duke Cunningham? Or, say, Debra Wong Yang’s work to go after Republican Jerry Lewis?

Oh, but wait! Carol Lam was fired because her “work output” was too low. And, shoot, Debra Wong Yang? Well, she was supposed to be pursuing Lewis. Only – well, here:

  • Debra Wong Yang, in October 2006, five months after beginning her work on the investigation into Lewis and his relationship with various defense contractors (hey, whaddaya know! – same thing Carol Lam clobbered Duke Cunningham for!), suddenly leaves her federal prosecutors’ position and goes to work for – mirabile dictu! – the very same law firm that is defending Republic Congressman Jerry Lewis!! For a $1.5 million signing bonus, no less! . . .
  • A few weeks later, those less-compliant U.S. attorneys whose investigations and/or non-cooperation have proven problematic – including Carol Lam – are fired on December 7, 2006.
  • Using the Senate-circumventing provisions of the PATRIOT Act, the White House, via the Department of Justice, immediately appoints George Cardona as acting U.S. attorney for the Los Angeles office. He does an outstanding job of not moving the investigation forward one iota in the intervening seven months (the maximum time allowed for his temporary, PATRIOT-enabled “acting” appointment), at which time (in June 2007) the BushCheney administration circumvents the Senate and names him interim U.S. attorney, which effectively means nothing will get done on the investigation into Lewis’s misdeeds until this administration is gone.
  • As soon as Cardona gets his interim appointment, he appoints Michael Emmick to head up the Lewis investigation. Or, as the WSJ dutifully reports it,

    To jump-start the Lewis investigation, Mr. Cardona, the interim U.S. attorney, in June called on a veteran prosecutor, Michael Emmick, to revive and supervise the investigation, people with knowledge of the investigation say.

Heh: “jump-start.” Yeah, right: “revive and supervise.” Yeah – sorta like Michael Corleone’s assassin went to Hyman Roth’s hospital room with a pillow in The Godfather: Part II, so’s he could “revive and supervise” him. Unh-huh, shoor.

The above is from a diary I wrote last September telling of the Justice Department’s crying about “budget cuts” making it necessary for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles to take on fewer cases and “slow down” ongoing cases. Yeahhh, riiiight.

Oh – and then, last month, Tom O’Brien, who heads the L.A. office, says, shoot, looks like we’re gonna hafta close down our public integrity and environmental crimes section. And here is the positively Orwellian spin the office tried to put on that (emphasis added):

[U.S. Attorney spokesman Thom] Mrozek insisted the changes will not mean the office will prosecute fewer public integrity cases, which include civil rights violations, police misconduct cases and public corruption by government workers and elected officials.

“The idea is to see additional crimes prosecuted in this area,” Mrozek said, adding that public corruption is one of U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s top five priorities.

Huh – I wonder what the other four are. I can only imagine. But given that, just yesterday, the Pentagon inspector general released a report detailing an instance in which George Bush himself as well as a few Air Force generals had intervened to improperly award a $50 million contract, and a year after the FBI was called in to investigate,

The U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada declined to prosecute the case in May 2007

– well, then, I gotta believe those other four “top priorities” must be taking up all of Atty. Gen. Mukasey’s time.

So – last September, the L.A. office of the U.S. Attorney says it is cutting back investigations because of “budget restraints.” Now, all of a sudden, according to today’s LA Times article, a month after U.S. Attorney O’Brien eliminates the public integrity and environmental crimes section,

O’Brien estimates that he has hired 60 new prosecutors over the last year and that the office is approaching its full strength of 267 lawyers for the first time in recent memory.

Huh. Wow. Not enough attorneys to pursue big, complicated investigations (coughJerryLewiscough), but the money rolls in from DOJ when those pesky illegal immigrants are rounded up.

Funny how that works.

But here’s maybe the best part of the story:

O’Brien’s critics question his motives in pushing for increased productivity. They say he wants higher stats to help his chances of remaining in the politically connected post of U.S. attorney regardless of who wins the presidential election in November. O’Brien denied that accusation.

You’re kidding, right?

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  1. – as in, tipping the scales of justice.


  2. Does anyone remember that odd experience I had (I know  – which one??)) I with that Dr. who does Botox and takes kick backs?

    Seems the Feds got him and 6 other los angeles doctors on a 12 million medicare fraud scam.

    O’Brainless dropped the case.

  3. The Wire. Justice is screwed. It is systemic and will require not just the next president, but a comprehensive overhaul that would stop politicizing the justice system. Congress both sides plays the game and twists the system to work for the real criminals. Pols all love their law and order, as long as it is just a political weapon for their interests, or your not rich.      

  4. At this point in time, I would have to say that all three branches of our govenment are so corrupt, I have a hard time seeing any chance of redemption for any of them. There are a few individuals with integrity scattered around here and there, but they are light years apart in our governmental galaxy.

    I have been an optimist my entire life, yet now I am starting to become overwhelmed. I just can’t see a change in President’s, and overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Congress doing much good.

    A razor didn’t work, a hachet isn’t working, maybe Occam, it is time to become a nova.

    Peace!    :~) (still)  

  5. of cleaning up any of the past seven years are extremely remote.  Take the motto “change” to mean they will persue “new” issues and totally ignore the blatant criminality going on in all branches of government.

    Webster Tarpley returns all of Obama’s New World Order agenda in detail and it ain’t pretty.

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