The OPIA Blog

Eric Holder moves forward with DOJ revamp

Eric Holder’s recent appointments to the Department of Justice suggest he will work to bring on a new level of ethics compliance unforeseen in the last ten years. The Bush administration was accused of appointing political appointees to the DOJ; attorneys that are looking to defend the mantra of the administration rather than the rule of law or hold any ethical standards. Holder appears to be moving in a different direction, says this Washington Post article. “(Holder) appointed Mary Patrice Brown, a well-respected career prosecutor in the District, the new leader of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which polices misconduct by department lawyers. Brown, who runs the criminal division at the U.S. attorney’s office in the District, will become the third chief of the ethics unit since it was established in 1975 after the Watergate scandal. The move came a day after U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan expressed a lack of confidence in the office, which has been investigating lapses with witnesses and evidence that ultimately demolished the government’s case against Stevens. Citing the seriousness of the alleged prosecutorial misconduct, the judge took the extraordinary step of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate six government lawyers involved in the case against the former senator, convicted last fall of ethics violations for accepting gifts from an oil services company executive.”