Attorney General

Lawmakers Critical of Litigation Quid Pro Quo Between DOJ and St. Paul Officials

Lawmakers who became aware of a quid pro quo between the Justice Department and city officials in St. Paul, Minn., are raising concerns about the deal.

The Washington Post reports that four Republican lawmakers are criticizing the Justice Department’s decision to abandon support of a lawsuit against the city in exchange for St. Paul purportedly agreeing to drop an appeal in a civil rights case before the Supreme Court.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder complaining that the deal was inappropriate. In the February deal, St. Paul agreed to withdraw a housing discrimination case in exchange for the Justice Department agreeing to back away from an unrelated False Claims Act case against the city.

The Post reports that lawmakers learned of the deal during private briefing with DOJ officials. The DOJ tells the Post that the resolutions reached were consistent with the DOJ to reach global settlements.

St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing acknowledged that the DOJ’s promise not to oppose the city in unrelated litigation was a factor in St. Paul’s decision to dismiss its petition in Magner v. Gallagher.

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