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A Personal Perspective on Paulose

Paulose As Orin Kerr observed at The Volokh Conspiracy, "That was fast." No sooner was Michael Mukasey confirmed as attorney general than the Justice Department announced the departure of Minnesota's controversial U.S. Attorney Rachel K. Paulose, who will return to Washington to work in the department's headquarters there. Bloggers are sure to dissect this development in depth, but in a lengthy post at Minnesota Lawyer Blog, Mark Cohen, editor of Minnesota Lawyer newspaper, offers a personal perspective on Paulose's controversial tenure as U.S. attorney, one colored by his having met and come to know her.

She was, Cohen says, "neither the Wicked Witch of the West that some of her detractors made her out to be nor the 'St. Rachel' of some conservative blogs." He writes:

I found Paulose to be a highly driven and even at times charming individual who also is a fallible human being. She is definitely conservative, but not very political. (Ironically, had she cared more about politics, she might have been able to rally some political support when she needed it so badly.) She is a brilliant woman with encyclopedic knowledge. Most surprising of all was the fact that Paulose has a keen sense of humor –- albeit a wryly dry one.

But her subordinates apparently never saw this side of her, Cohen notes, in part because of her poorly developed management skills that caused her to come across as aloof and condescending and "busy being defensive." Yet despite the controversy that surrounded her, Paulose's tenure was not without achievement, believes Cohen (who was an associate of mine many years ago at Lawyers Weekly newspaper in Boston).

Despite the internal problems, the office did some great work in investigating and prosecuting child-porn and human trafficking cases. I would not have that forgotten due to the recent turbulence. Minnesotans can truly be grateful to Paulose and the entire staff of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their Herculean efforts in those areas. It’s a legacy worth having.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 21, 2007 at 01:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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