US
United States Attorney General Eric Holder sits down to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department and the reform of government surveillance programs, in Washington January 29, 2014.        REUTERS/Gary Cameron  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW MILITARY) - RTX17ZUP United States Attorney General Eric Holder sits down to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department and the reform of government surveillance programs, in Washington January 29, 2014. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW MILITARY) - RTX17ZUP  

Justice Department won’t release names of lawyers responsible for more than 650 ethical violations

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Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

The Department of Justice will not disclose the names of its lawyers responsible for more than 650 ethical violations found in internal agency watchdog reports.

DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility documented more than 650 examples of its lawyers violating department ethics rules, according to a review of internal documents and OPR reports compiled by the Project on Government Oversight.

The review, spanning fiscal year 2002 through fiscal year 2013, found more than 400 cases of recklessness or intentional misconduct, according to OPR’s own standards. The office investigated approximately 2,100 alleged abuses during this time.

DOJ upholds a practice of not disclosing the names of lawyers identified by OPR as having committed offenses.

“The result: the Department, its lawyers, and the internal watchdog office itself are insulated from meaningful public scrutiny and accountability,” concluded the Project on Government Oversight.

Federal attorneys misled courts at least 48 times, including 20 intentional violations, breached constitutional or civil rights 13 times, and did not provide exculpatory information to defendants 29 times, according to OPR.

OPR also found examples in fiscal year 2012 in which lawyers were given brief suspensions or letters of admonishment for severe instances of misconduct.

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