After the news that a class action suit
had been filed against former Justice Department officials Esther Slater McDonald
and Michael Elston
, we've been waiting for the other shoe shoe to drop: bar complaints.
Sure enough, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
(CREW) filed complaints in the wake of the Inspector Generals report that found both McDonald and Elston in violation of federal law
for taking "political and ideological" affiliations
into account when hiring for the U.S. Attorney's Honors Program:
The Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit attorneys from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty and conduct that "seriously interferes with the administration of justice." By illegally taking political and ideological affiliations into account in screening applicants for career DOJ position, Mr. Elston and Ms. McDonald may have violated bar rules could be subject to discipline.
CREW's executive director Melanie Sloane told TPMmuckraker that due to the findings of the independent OIG report, the complaint should be taken fairly seriously. "The only question left for the bar is whether their violations of the law rise to level of professional responsibility," Sloane said. "And I bet that they do."
The complaint was filed, with the OIG report attached, against McDonald in the District of Columbia and Elston in Virginia. Copies of the complaint were sent to all other jurisdictions where they were bar members.