One of the subplots of the US Attorney Scandal is the ongoing debacle going on Minnesota, where Rachel Paulose, a young, very conservative, very-well-connected-to-Monica Goodling attorney succeeded Tom Heffelfinger. Heffelfinger was likely pushed out due to an unwillingness to pursue then-State Attorney General Mary Kiffmeyer’s quest to invalidate the use of tribal IDs in state elections. Paulose, for her part, has come under fire for her management of her office, to the point that four members of her senior staff took voluntary demotions in protest.
Now my friend and colleague Eric Black, writing for Minnesota Monitor, has a tidbit that indicates Paulose’s relationship with her staff hasn’t improved:
On Tuesday afternoon, about 70 employees of the U.S. attorney’s office and other guests gathered in a big conference room to recognize the departure of Assistant U.S. Attorney Perry Sekus. Sekus is leaving to join the legal staff of UnitedHealth. Paulose was present.
As speakers paid tribute to Sekus, several made reference to the difficulties over recent months, a clear allusion to the widely known tensions of the Paulose era. The speakers praised Sekus for the dignity with which he had handled them.
When it was his turn to address the group, Sekus deflected the compliments that had been sent his way and said that those who deserved the praise were the former supervisors who had resigned their posts, because their actions had required courage.
At that, the room erupted with loud, sustained applause that could not be taken as anything other than solidarity with Paulose’s internal critics and appreciation for the sacrifice they had made to protest against her — clearly a spontaneous release of the tensions within the office. According to a witness, the ovation was so loud that it had to represent the applause of 90 percent or more of those in the room.
And in case you were wondering about whether these attacks on Paulose are fair, realize that she’s good friends with the Blogger Formerly Known as Big Trunk. Like her mentor Monica Goodling, she’s a partisan hack — and like her boss, Alberto Gonzales, she’s doing lasting damage to her office.