DC AG Quits; Clash With Fenty Aide Cited

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Ninja, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. Ninja
    Offline

    Ninja Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,220
    Thanks Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Glorious People's Republic of California
    Ratings:
    +377
    Attorney General Quits; Clash With Fenty Aide Cited
    Top Lawyer Felt Sidelined

    By David Nakamura and Carol D. Leonnig
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Tuesday, December 18, 2007; Page B01

    [​IMG]

    D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer resigned yesterday as the city's top lawyer, a result of increasing frustration that Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has relied more on his general counsel to make key legal decisions for the city, according to associates of Singer.

    Named by Fenty (D) in January, Singer, 41, became the first Cabinet-level appointee to leave the mayor's office. Her departure comes as the city pursues several major legal cases, including a high-stakes appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court's decision to strike down the District's longtime ban on handguns. That case, which will mark the first time that the high court will decide a Second Amendment issue in 70 years, is expected to be argued in March.

    In her resignation letter, Singer struck an upbeat tone and did not allude to her frustrations.

    "I believe that I have raised the quality of the work of the Office of the Attorney General and the enthusiasm and performance of its many dedicated, gifted lawyers and staff," Singer wrote. "I am confident that I am leaving the office in far better shape than I found it."

    Singer's resignation opens a window into the inner workings of the Fenty administration. Singer declined to comment, but her associates described mounting tension between Singer and Peter Nickles, Fenty's general counsel.

    Singer, a graduate of Harvard Law School, joined the administration after serving for 13 years as the executive director of DC Appleseed, a nonprofit social service organization. She had been considered an unorthodox selection because she had not practiced law while at Appleseed and did not have a D.C. Bar license. She got a license shortly after being named attorney general.

    Nickles, 69, is a longtime friend and running buddy of the mayor's father, Phil Fenty. Nickles spent years as a high-powered corporate litigator at Covington & Burling and had done pro bono work on behalf of D.C. jail inmates and St. Elizabeths patients, including major lawsuits against the city government, before joining Fenty's staff.

    Nickles has led the Fenty administration's response to several high-profile social service cases, the city's bailout of financially strapped Greater Southeast Community Hospital and the embezzlement scandal at the Office of Tax and Revenue. Singer and her staff have argued that those and other key issues should be handled by her office.

    Yesterday, Fenty named Nickles to replace Singer as acting attorney general after Singer's official departure Jan. 5. Deputy General Counsel Andrew T. "Chip" Richardson will replace Nickles until a new attorney general is selected, Fenty said.

    Fenty, who said Singer informed him of her decision in a meeting yesterday morning, declined to discuss the specifics of their conversation. When asked about Nickles's broad role in his administration, Fenty said: "You never want to limit any employees. You never want to say any employees shouldn't get involved in as many issues as humanly possible."

    Under the city's legal structure, the attorney general represents the District's interests, deciding which lawsuits to pursue and leading the legal strategy on cases. The general counsel is expected to deal with legal matters that directly affect the Executive Office of the Mayor. The wall between the offices is designed to ensure that legal decisions for the District are not influenced by politics.

    Furthermore, the attorney general, though appointed by the mayor, is subject to confirmation by the D.C. Council; the general counsel is not.

    Although Singer was not slated to present the city's defense of the handgun ban to the Supreme Court, her office had hired the special counsel who will and was helping to oversee the planning.

    The tension between Singer and Fenty's office came to a head last week, according to government sources, after Singer issued a friend-of-the-court brief in an effort by several states to get the Environmental Protection Agency to limit aircraft emissions. When Singer's staff informed the mayor, Fenty's aides were angered that he had not been consulted and instructed Singer's staff to run decisions by him first, the sources said.

    Mayoral aides said yesterday that the mayor believes the attorney general position is not fully independent because the District's top lawyer is a political appointee. In most states, the attorney general is elected.

    John Payton, who previously served as the District's corporation counsel, the precursor to the attorney general position, said Singer was right to demand independence.

    "There ought to be independence, because it changes what you get as the end result," said Payton, who is a friend of Singer's.

    "Linda Singer's resignation comes as a complete surprise and does not bode well for the office," D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large), head of the Committee on Public Safety, said in a statement. "The abrupt resignation creates renewed instability and concerns me greatly."

    From the start, Singer and Nickles clashed. At times, Nickles was so active that some in the city's legal community wondered whether he was overstepping his statutory authority. For example, in two lawsuits concerning the public schools' failure to provide adequate programs for special education students, Nickles appeared in court numerous times as if he were the attorney general.

    U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman, who presided over those hearings, asked Nickles in one status conference why he was doing all the talking when he wasn't recognized as a lawyer in the case. In subsequent hearings, Nickles attended but did not speak. Later, he formally registered as the lawyer in the case.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/17/AR2007121700730.html?hpid=topnews

    [​IMG]

    Bye-bye Linda. While it would have been nice to have Your Incompetence argue Heller v. DC, the Fenty crony replacing you is probably just as bad of an attorney as your are
    :badgrin:
     
  2. Psychoblues
    Offline

    Psychoblues Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,701
    Thanks Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Missisippi
    Ratings:
    +143
    Are you saying that there are incompetent lawyers? How do you explain the overcrowding of our prisons?
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  3. Psychoblues
    Offline

    Psychoblues Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,701
    Thanks Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Missisippi
    Ratings:
    +143
    I wish that you had written your pos rep here rather than the obscure place of my particular files. You are correct. DA's are commended on cases they win without regard to any truths that might be overlooked or even forsaken in the performance of their duties. In any event, I think you are on the correct track for insistence of judicial and actual prudence.
     
  4. Ninja
    Offline

    Ninja Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,220
    Thanks Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Glorious People's Republic of California
    Ratings:
    +377
    LOL. Sorry dude, sometimes I like to respond with a pos or neg rep rather than an actual post - makes the impersonal cyberspace a tad bit more personal. Helps form a connection, you know?

    Anyway, it seems we're in agreement w.r.t the inherent flaws in our criminal justice system. I'm off to bed (it's 2:15AM here). Have a great morning, psychoblues!
     
  5. Psychoblues
    Offline

    Psychoblues Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Messages:
    2,701
    Thanks Received:
    142
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Missisippi
    Ratings:
    +143
    Take a hint from an old timer, snowman. Neg reps are for losers except in severe situations.



    I am familiar with your nomenclature and I will be looking for you!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your sleep!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  6. William Joyce
    Offline

    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    9,693
    Thanks Received:
    1,135
    Trophy Points:
    190
    Location:
    Caucasiastan
    Ratings:
    +1,349
    This Christmas season, I'm thankful I don't live in D.C. Their gun laws are yet another reason I prefer living in Virginia. I hope to God the Supreme Court upholds the Second Amendment as an individual right. I think that if they don't, you'll see a fierce movement to amend the Constitution or pass a federal law saying so.
     
  7. Ninja
    Offline

    Ninja Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,220
    Thanks Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Glorious People's Republic of California
    Ratings:
    +377
    Don's spread FUD.

    The NRA has had no involvement with Heller, other than attempting to derail it at all costs.

    The Ninth Circus has already ruled that I have no individual right to keep and bear arms. Guess what? This has not impeded my ability to do so.

    SCOTUS ruling against the plaintiffs will barely set us back at all. If SCOTUS upholds the Parker ruling, however... Boy, oh boy :cool:
     
  8. William Joyce
    Offline

    William Joyce Chemotherapy for PC

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2004
    Messages:
    9,693
    Thanks Received:
    1,135
    Trophy Points:
    190
    Location:
    Caucasiastan
    Ratings:
    +1,349
    I hadn't thought of your general argument and will consider it, but 9th and 10th Amendment reliance is a no-go in 2007. The Supreme Court has essentially declared these amendments "null set." Just look at the wording and consider the consequences if they were taken seriously: America would be a near-free country. Our elites are not interested in that.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  9. musicman
    Offline

    musicman Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Messages:
    5,171
    Thanks Received:
    533
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ratings:
    +533
    "Null set" - OK, I'm officially confused. Could you clarify a bit for me, WJ? I would hope that Amendment X essentially defines the term, "representative republic". What have our wonderful, wacky elites done to us now?
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  10. RetiredGySgt
    Offline

    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2007
    Messages:
    39,519
    Thanks Received:
    5,898
    Trophy Points:
    1,140
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Ratings:
    +8,930
    They ignore it at will. People like Jillian support and defend their ignoring it by claiming the General welfare term means they can do anything at all they want.Essentially there is NO limit or check on Congressional power since they just pretend what ever new power they usurp falls under a listed or unlisted power in the Constitution.

    Examples.... Department of Education, Social Security and Medicare. The fact that EVERY transaction now is considered "interstate" and regulated by the Federal Government, Abortion as a right to privacy, Demands made by the Federal Government on the States with no Federal Funding provided and threats of other funds being cut off if they do not do as Big Brother commands. Federal HUD and Federal Welfare, unemployment Insurance, Minimum wage laws, Hate crime laws.
     

Share This Page