April 29, 2008

OK, yea I know. Another BushCo. corruption case coming out of the DOJ. What's new, right? Well, everything. Bush keeps telling us that his presidency can't be measured correctly until years and years have passed us by.

Bush says an accurate analysis of his legacy, and the war’s role in it, is impossible now. He suggests it might take decades. “There’s no such thing as an accurate history of an administration until time has lapsed — unless you’re doing little-bitty things,” he says.

Sorry Charlie, I believe after more time has elapsed I think we'll uncover more and more cases like this new story that Murray Waas has broken on ABC.com:

The Department of Justice has secretly agreed to settle conflict of interest allegations against the executive director of a group that has received $97 million in federal grants to improve the nation's family courts, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mary Mentaberry, of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ), failed to disclose that her husband had received $94,000 in real estate commission for helping the organization secure new office space. Mentaberry agreed to pay $16,500 in the settlement, which has not been previously been made public, to the consternation of some Justice Department officials.

"You would expect a nationwide association of judges to follow the rules," said one official, who called the matter an embarrassment not only to the group but also to the Department of Justice, which has given so many millions of dollars to the group.

Earlier this month, the same group paid $300,000 to settle claims that it overcharged the Justice Department.
In the case involving her husband's real estate commission, the Justice Department's inspector general said Mentaberry had an obligation to inform officials of the potential conflict of interest because of the group's heavy reliance on federal money.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that an association of Judges should actually know and understand the laws. Am I right? And then the story begs a question: Why did the government do the settlement in complete secrecy? The only hint the story gives is this:

The separate agreements by both the council and its executive director come at a time when several members of Congress have questioned whether the Bush administration appointees in the Justice Department have sidestepped federal regulations in awarding grants on the basis of political favoritism and not merit. The Department official said that he believed that there might have been an effort to keep the agreement with Mentaberry confidential so as to not attract additional attention from Congress regarding the awarding of Department grants.

So fraking judges and the executive director get off the hook because to disclose what she did-or for DOJ to disclose it-would raise cause DOJ to look more closely at DOJ's contracting practices? Yea, that sounds about right to me. Keep quiet and don't rattle the cage anymore. It will all go away Dorthothy. I'm sorry, but the hubris with which they operate is nauseating and should be investigated to the fullest. You know there's more big news coming on the heels of this .

And it's not the first time we've seen this before. remember the sweetheart contracts that former Attorney General John Ashcroft got from DOJ after he stepped down after President Bush's first term? But he's beyond reproach isn't he? Being a man of GOD---he anointed himself in Crisco oil a few times so he would never do something like that, would he?

And----if you've done something wrong---as a JUDGE no less---you get off the hook from the DOJ because they don't want Congress to know about your creepy, money grubbing deals that got you the contract in the first place. Stay tuned because I'm sure there's dirt on its way real soon....

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