Politics & Government

Obama offers job back to U.S. attorney fired by Bush

WASHINGTON — One of the nine former U.S. attorneys whose firing triggered a controversy leading to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales may be returning to his old job.

President Obama announced Friday that he was nominating Daniel Bogden as U.S. attorney for Nevada. Bogden, a prosecutor with more than 16 years of experience, was fired by the Bush administration from the same job in December 2006.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, has said he thought that Bogden's firing was unfair and urged the Obama administration to give him his job back.

At the time, the Justice Department cited "performance" problems as the reason for the nine ousters, although Bogden and most of the others had positive performance evaluations.

The firings put Justice Department officials in the unusual position of having to defend the ouster of Republican appointees against Democratic criticism. It also triggered a constitutional clash between the executive and legislative branches.

Congressional Democrats launched an inquiry, accusing the Bush administration of singling out prosecutors based on improper political reasons.

Last year, the Justice Department's Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility, detailed "substantial evidence" that partisan politics played a role in several of the ousters.

A special prosecutor appointed by former Attorney General Michael Mukasey is currently investigating whether any former administration officials broke the law.

Bogden, a former military prosecutor, was first appointed as a U.S. attorney by President George W. Bush in 2001.

He's currently a partner with the Reno, Nev., law firm of McDonald Carano Wilson, specializing in commercial litigation, employment law and criminal law.


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