The PJ Tatler

Justice Department hiring sprees, scavenger hunts and high priced tour guides

Eric Holder’s Justice Department has gone on a wild hiring spree, spending millions of dollars they don’t have to hire new attorneys.  For months, Pajamas Media had an outstanding Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the resumes of the new attorney hires in the Civil Rights Division.  Last week, a portion of the requested information was turned over.  Over the next few weeks and months, PJM, PJTV and the Tatler will provide details.

The week before the scheduled government shutdown on April 8, 2011, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez visited the Voting Section.  He proudly described the hiring binge at DOJ, but told the employees that the DOJ only had half the money necessary to hire all of these new employees.  He hoped the other half of the money would eventually appear.  But it was imperative, he said, that the hiring be done while the Obama administration “still had the chance.”  Because it takes three years for a DOJ attorney to “vest,” that is, be immune from a layoff for any reason, the accelerated hiring spree lets these employees burrow in before a Romney or Bachmann administration in 2013.  Next week Perez goes before the House Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing.  Maybe the Committee can find out why so many attorneys were hired when there wasn’t enough money to pay for them.

If Perez can’t find the money to pay for the other half of the hiring spree, maybe some of the attorneys will be willing to work as unpaid interns.  After all, being an intern in DOJ sounds like summer camp.  In a May 12 email to the Division, Perez described the “Intern Activities Program” and all the resources helping to “cultivate a community of intern alumni.”  Division Chief of Staff Leon Rodriguez will act “as a guide . . . for an architectural tour of the Main Justice Library.”  Interns will also enjoy a “Washington Nationals baseball game with the Environmental and Natural Resources Division and a Scavenger Hunt with the Tax Division.”

While DOJ hires hundreds of employees without adequate money, while they enjoy baseball games, receive architectural tours from the chief of staff of a DOJ Division and have scavenger hunts, real unemployment in the country stands at 15%.