Roger Adams, who served as the government’s pardon attorney for over a decade, told internal Justice Department investigators he probably has “some faults, but racial prejudice is not one of them,” The Associated Press reports. The department’s inspector general concluded otherwise, finding Adams acted improperly in describing a drug convict applying for a pardon as “about as honest as you could expect for a Nigerian.” “Unfortunately, that’s not very honest,” Adams allegedly told a co-worker. Adams recently left his post as pardon attorney voluntarily and now works in the Justice Department’s management division.
In a 22-page response that was almost as long as the report itself, Adams defended himself and said he disagreed with the inspector general’s conclusions. He alluded to administrative disputes with some on his staff, whom he indicated may have timed their complaints to “potentially cause me the most embarrassment.” Adams was particularly troubled by the accusation that he used race or ethnic origin as a factor in deciding whether to recommend a pardon. “As any person who has known me for any length of time will attest, I am neither racially biased nor insensitive,” Adams wrote.