Washington A former top Justice Department official made false statements to Congress and violated federal law in overseeing the agency’s civil rights division, investigators say.
The accusations against Kansan Bradley Schlozman, the former acting head of the civil rights division, are included in a new report by the department’s inspector general, Glenn Fine.
Tuesday’s report is the latest of several inquiries that found senior Justice Department officials violated civil service laws under the tenure of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Gonzales has denied knowledge of the conduct by his deputies, but the series of reports paints a disturbing portrait of the nation’s top law enforcement agency being pulled in a sharply political direction during the Bush administration.
The report says Schlozman politicized and mistreated his staff and tried to punish agency employees he believed were too liberal. The report cited an e-mail in which Schlozman noted it had been awhile since he’d had to “scream with a bloodcurdling cry at some commie.”
At other times, the report said, Schlozman urged the hiring of “real Americans,” apparently meaning conservatives, as opposed to liberals, whom he referred to as “libs” and “pinkos.”
Schlozman resigned from the Justice Department in 2007 and is now an attorney in private practice in Wichita, Kan.