Saturday, March 31, 2007

Senator demands AG clear Iglesias' name

WASHINGTON - A New York senator is demanding a retraction from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on behalf of New Mexico's former U.S. attorney, who was fired along with seven other prosecutors last year.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote Gonzales on Friday demanding that the attorney general clear David Iglesias' name. Schumer's letter came the day after Gonzales' former chief of staff, Kyle Sampson, testified before Congress that in hindsight, he would not have recommended Iglesias for dismissal.

Sampson orchestrated the firings for department officials as part of a plan to replace some prosecutors in President Bush's second term. He added Iglesias' name late in the process but on Thursday said he couldn't remember exactly why.

"In light of these startling admissions by your former chief of staff, it is imperative that you restore Mr. Iglesias' tarnished reputation by confirming that his performance as a U.S. attorney did not warrant dismissal," Schumer wrote to Gonzales.

Iglesias has repeatedly said that he wants a written retraction from the Justice Department stating that performance had nothing to do with his dismissal.

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