Three of the eight prosecutors ousted by the Justice Department as poor performers ranked in the top 10 for prosecutions and convictions among the 93 U.S. attorneys, an analysis of court records by USA Today shows. Large volumes of immigration cases helped U.S. attorneys Paul Charlton of Phoenix, Carol Lam of San Diego and David Iglesias of New Mexico consistently place in the upper tier among their peers. A fourth former prosecutor, Daniel Bogden of Nevada, ranked among the top third of U.S. attorneys in four of the past five years, said data maintained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.
Justice spokesman Brian Roehrkasse disputed the rankings. He said more than half of prosecutions involve immigration or drug offenses, so it is “no surprise” that numbers are higher along the Southwest border. “When it comes to cases prosecuted for civil rights, firearms, terrorism, violent crime, white-collar crime, and official corruption charges, the claim that all three of these districts (San Diego, Albuquerque and Phoenix) are in the top 10 nationwide is simply incorrect.” In San Diego, where Lam had been accused of failing to pursue immigration prosecutions, the number of such cases dropped from 2,887 in 2004 to 1,715 in 2006. Immigration prosecutions – a top administration priority – accounted for the largest single crime category prosecuted by Lam.