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Murkowski: Suspension Reversal Ruling Shows Oversight "Remains a Mess"


Location: Washington, DC

Senator Lisa Murkowski today responded to the news that an administrative judge has overturned the suspensions of two prosecutors in the ethics case against Senator Ted Stevens -- deciding that the Department of Justice had gone against internal procedure in its punishment of the two attorneys in question, by saying:

"The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) decision to overturn the suspensions of prosecutors' misconduct in Senator Ted Stevens' case teaches us nothing we didn't already know: the Department of Justice's prosecutorial misconduct oversight was a mess before the US District Court Judge who handled the Stevens case and his independent master found misconduct and remains a mess today. Hard as it may be to fathom, the MSPB's ruling has only made a bad system worse -- since we now realize that DoJ leadership may not understand their own internal rules.

"All Alaskans need to know is that this decision has nothing to do with the merits of the case against the prosecutors and their behavior; it focuses solely on an ambiguous internal rule about how punishment inside the Justice Department is meted out -- a rule that different offices within the Justice Department clearly don't understand or agree upon."

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