Apparently Alberto Gonzales just won't give anybody a job in the Justice Department if they're not already a U.S. attorney.
Today, Gonzales tapped U.S. Attorney for Connecticut Kevin O'Connor to be his chief of staff. O'Connor replaces U.S. Attorney for eastern Virginia Chuck Rosenberg, who served on an interim basis after Kyle Sampson stepped down.
So Gonzales has twice replaced the guy who handled the U.S. attorney purge with U.S. attorneys. Sampson, remember, was rapped
by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) during the Senate hearing for being the point man on the firings while at the same time having very little prosecutorial experience (he's tried one case). And it might also have something to do with the fact that relations between Gonzales and his USAs are reportedly strained.
As The Washington Post reported
this morning, many question the department's increased use of U.S. attorneys in double roles, since they must necessarily neglect their home offices.
That doesn't seem to be much of a concern. According to today's press relase from the Justice Department trumpeting O'Connor's appointment, after four to six months, "O'Connor and the Attorney General will determine whether he continues to hold both positions."