Tangled Web, And All That

Ken AshfordAttorney FiringsLeave a Comment

One of the humorous side-stories to the U.S. Attorney purge scandal involves the firing of the U.S. Attorney from the state of New Mexico, David Iglesius.  As former Gonzales chief of staff Kyle Sampson admitted last week, there was no real performance reason to fire Iglesias.   In fact, it’s indisputable at this point that Iglesias was actually fired because he didn’t indict enough Democrats.

But they had to come up with a cover story at the time this scandal broke, so the Department of Justice accused him of absentee landlordism” because he had to take 40 days of annual duty in the naval reserve.

If that’s the reason he was fired, then DOJ has a problem: such a dismissal would be a violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), a federal law that prohibits job discrimination against members of the U.S. military.  In fact, Gonzales himself was promoting the USERRA last summer in an effort make sure reservists and National Guard members didn’t suffer in the workplace when they are called to serve their country.

And now there is a potential investigation into firing Iglesius for that reason.

Newsweek has more.