Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Report: U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan Deserved Firing

By Chris Thompson
Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 8:39 AM

Yesterday, the Attorney General's office released its damning report on how Alberto Gonzales handled the firing of nine U.S. attorneys and the subsequent public inquiry, and Attorney General Michael Mukasey called the process "haphazard, arbitrary, and unprofessional." (Arbitrary? There was nothing arbitrary about targeting prosecutors for petty political reasons.) You can read the full report here (PDF), but the Chron has a nice piece about how our very own U.S. attorney, Kevin Ryan, was the lone prosecutor who truly deserved to be sacked.

Ryan, who once worked in the Alameda County district attorney's office, was called "elusive, isolated, removed from office life, retaliatory, explosive, noncommunicative and paranoid" by prosecutors working under his direction, and talented staff quit in droves rather than work under him. Needless to say, morale was dreadful at the San Francisco office, and while the Justice Department was reluctant to get rid of him, federal judge Marilyn Patel eventually forced its hand. Interestingly, Ryan was the only fired U.S. attorney to back Gonzales all the way, contacting his office and assuring him that despite all the mounting scandal, he was "still a company man." The only one who should have been fired was the only one who was loyal to the end; that's a nice allegory for the Bush administration.


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