The hard-charging style of Ronald Machen, the U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., has alienated some people, and he is battling an unusual number of departures by key supervisors and courtroom prosecutors, particularly those handling violent crimes, reports the Washington Post. Machen has taken a keen interest in allegations of corruption involving prominent D.C. politicians and their campaigns. He is prodding his staff to work through weekends, demanding regular progress reports, setting rigid deadlines and helping shape investigative tactics.
Although former and current prosecutors have described early friction in law enforcement circles over whether the probes would yield federal prosecutions, they said the effort paid off with recent high-profile guilty pleas and resignations, including the chairman of the D.C. Council. “I'm not sure that without Ron's leadership that the office would have gotten where it is on these cases,” said Thomas Hibarger, who resigned last month as Machen's chief prosecutor in federal court. “Ron really pushed us hard, rode us hard. [ ] Ron is a force of nature.”