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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I.G. report says former civil rights chief broke the law


WASHINGTON (CNN) – A long-awaited Justice Department report on the troubled Civil Rights Division says a politically-motivated former chief of the Division violated a federal hiring law and made false statements to Congress about his controversial hiring practices.
Bradley Schlozman, however, will not be prosecuted. The report says the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia decided last week not to prosecute Schlozman for the violations found by investigators for the Inspector General.
The 65-page report by Inspector General Glenn Fine describes Schlozman as a staunch conservative who tried to punish liberal employees within the Civil Rights Division.
"Our investigation concluded that Schlozman… inappropriately considered political and ideological affiliations in hiring career attorneys and in other personnel actions affecting career attorneys in the Division," the report said. "We concluded that in doing so Schlozman violated federal law (The Civil Service Reform Act) and Department policy, both of which prohibit discrimination in federal employment based on political or ideological affiliations, and committed misconduct."
The Inspector General also faulted Schlozman for his congressional testimony.
"Our report concluded that Schlozman made false statements about whether he had considered political and ideological affiliations when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 5, 2007 and in his written responses to supplemental questions from the Committee."
The report is the fourth and final one to be issued by the Inspector General stemming from the controversial firing of U.S. Attorneys by top Justice Department officials, and allegations of extensive improper hiring practices by conservative Republican officials who used political criteria in their decision making.

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