Justice Dept. Hiring Practices Illegal: Report

Gonzales aides judged high-level applicants by their politics
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2008 12:21 PM CDT
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales speaks in this Tuesday, May 15, 2007 file photo, at the National Press Club in Washington.    (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Alberto Gonzales’ Justice Department illegally discriminated against applicants for career positions based on political considerations, a new report by the department's inspector general finds. Gonzales’ White House liaison Monica Goodling routinely violated civil service laws by asking "What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?," the Washingon Post reports.

Federal law distinguishes between political and career positions, forbidding officials from subjecting applicants for the latter  to the kind of litmus tests Goodling administered. It’s unclear if Goodling, Gonzales, or anyone else will face charges based on the report. Gonzales released a statement saying the findings exonerate him, Politico reports. His successor, Michael Mukasey, said he is “of course disturbed” by the findings.