The bumpy, 20-month tenure of Minnesota U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose ended abruptly yesterday when she announced that she will return to Washington in January to serve as a legal policy adviser to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The reign of Paulose, 34, was marred by internal strife in the office. In April, several top managers quit their posts in a group protest of her management style.
Said former Minnesota U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger: “I do believe that Rachel’s departure is good news for the U.S. attorney’s office. Her tenure has been marked with significant internal problems, which were undermining morale.” Paulose recently complained to a blogger of being victimized by a “McCarthyite hysteria” that smeared her because of her religious faith, conservative views, sex and/or race. Heffelfinger said that caused a number of employees “to stand up and say enough is enough.” It’s unclear what will become of an inquiry by the Office of Special Counsel, which has been investigating an allegation that she retaliated against an assistant for reporting that she had mishandled some classified documents, and that she allegedly referred to an employee as “fat,” “black” and “lazy.” She denies that she used such terms.