Government Law

Minn. AG Fires Staff Lawyer Critic

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A staff lawyer who had criticized her boss, Minnesota attorney general Lori Swanson, over claimed ethics issues related to the filing of two lawsuits against mortgage foreclosure rescue companies has been fired.

“Swanson dismissed Amy Lawler after the results of [an] investigation by Thomas Mengler, dean of the University of St. Thomas Law School, were released,” writes the Star Tribune. “In his report, Mengler said he found ‘no evidence of any unprofessional conduct’ by Swanson or her staff” concerning the lawsuits. Lawler reportedly had claimed that the attorney general directed her staff to file the high-profile suits before defendants were identified.

The report found that other charges by Lawler were based on information she claimed to have received from others and couldn’t be corroborated, the newspaper article continues.

As discussed in an earlier post, the firing—and Lawler’s criticism of Swanson—are intertwined with a hard-fought campaign to unionize the lawyers in the office.

Although Swanson did nothing wrong, Mengler found, Lawler’s conduct violated ethics rules, NPR reported. Lawler was terminated yesterday, as a separate legislative investigation of the situation continues.

Additional coverage:

Star Tribune: “Attorney general’s first year doesn’t impress everyone”

Minnesota Post: “An explanation for recent agonies in attorney general’s office: Mike Hatch’s traumatic reign”

Star Tribune: “Lori Swanson”

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