Attorney General Michael Mukasey is being urged by Justice Department employees in Minnesota and by prominent lawyers and law professors to consider an early visit to the office of U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose in Minneapolis, says the New York Times. Paulose, 34, is described by colleagues as representative of much that went wrong at the department under Alberto Gonzales, the former attorney general. During his tenure, several U.S. attorneys were replaced with lawyers like Paulose who had little experience as prosecutors or managers but were fiercely loyal to the Bush administration.
Paulose is the focus of a wide-ranging investigation by the Office of Special Counsel, a federal watchdog agency charged with protecting the rights of government workers. Officials say it centers on accusations that Paulose mishandled classified documents, retaliated against at least one staff member who complained about her management, and used a racial epithet in reference to another employee. She has denied the accusations. She has also alienated much of the state's Congressional delegation, including Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, who endorsed her nomination last year. Coleman said has asked Mukasey to give priority to reviewing the the Minnesota office. Paulose press spokesman David Anderson said, “Our office is on track and the job is getting done under Ms. Paulose.”