Reading the press reports today it has become clear that not only is Tom Marino a liar but his superiors in the Department of Justice thought he was incompetent.
Marino's effectiveness questioned
A senior Justice Department official recommended firing Marino in September 2006, saying he "perceived that Marino was not leading his office," according to the report, which has taken on fresh relevance as the Republican challenges Democratic incumbent Chris Carney in the 10th Congressional District.
D. Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, subsequently placed Marino's name on a list of U.S. Attorneys he said the department, "should consider pushing out," based on "problems" he learned about in summer 2006, according to the report.
You can read the report at this link.
The only thing that saved his tail was the Justice Department didn't want to piss off Senator Arlen Specter.
REPORT: Political ties kept Marino from termination
A report timeline shows that Marino was recommended for termination weeks after he provided a personal reference on a gambling license application for a convicted felon who was under investigation by Marino’s office.
Marino and one other attorney were removed from the list “not because anyone disagreed with the removal recommendation...because both were believed to have the political support of their home-state Senators and the judgment was made not to risk a fight with the Senators over the proposed removals,” according to the report.
This seems to be different than the dismissal of other US Attorney's at the time who were booted for political reasons by Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez and Karl Rove. Why Karl Rove was making personnel decisions at DOJ is a subject that has been covered by many other bloggers at the time. Instead of getting rid of him because he wouldn't toe the party line like they did to the others they just thought he was a putz.
Tom Marino continues to be Chris Carney's biggest asset in this election and the Carney camp let him have it in a press release:
CLARKS SUMMIT -- This morning, news broke in the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice and the Scranton Times-Tribune about a Department of Justice report that provides searing evidence that Tom Marino was unfit to serve as U.S. attorney and was recommended for firing before his abrupt 2007 resignation. The report shows that Marino was singled out for firing just weeks after he had provided a personal reference for a convicted felon who was under investigation by Marino's office.
The following is a statement in response to the news from Josh Drobnyk, campaign spokesman for Congressman Chris Carney (Pa-10):
"The facts speak for themselves. The report from the Justice Department makes it clear that Tom Marino lacks the essential qualities that people on all sides of the political spectrum deserve in an elected official: leadership, integrity and competence. This Department of Justice report states in no uncertain terms that Marino failed to lead his office. He has lied about the controversial reference he provided for a convicted felon who was under investigation by his office. And it is now clear that he lied about his record at as U.S. attorney. The question that he must answer is what else is Tom Marino hiding? It is time for him to truthfully account for his record and stop deliberately misleading the public."
Marino's mouthpiece did his best to minimize the damage.
A spokesman for Marino's Congressional campaign, Jason Fitzgerald, dismissed the revelations in the Justice Department report as another distraction in a race that has centered more on missteps and personal defects than social issues and policy positions.
"We're really not going to play in the mud on this stuff," Fitzgerald said Wednesday. "Those claims are totally without merit. Tom Marino was a distinguished prosecutor."
He also added that Nancy Pelosi is a liberal.
After talking with Chris Hackett and Dan Meuser last Friday I keep thinking what if those guys had held off running until this year.
2002: Tom Marino is sworn in as U.S. Attorney for Middle District of Pennsylvania, which includes Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and Harrisburg.
2004: Federal authorities launch an investigation into allegations Dunmore businessman Louis DeNaples used a middleman to make campaign contributions to Gov. Ed Rendell.
December 2005: Marino serves as a personal reference for DeNaples' application for a license to operate the Mount Airy Casino in Monroe County.
January 2006: A Justice Department official includes Marino on a list of "problem" prosecutors and tells a colleague she is "not sure about" him.
September 2006: Marino makes private decision to resign, does not set specific date.
September 13, 2006: D. Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, places Marino's name on a list of U.S. Attorneys the department "should consider pushing out."
November 2006: Sampson places Marino's name on another list of targeted prosecutors.
January 2007: Marino discloses relationship with DeNaples to the Justice Department and is ordered to withdraw from the investigation into DeNaples.
Sept. 21, 2007: Marino announces resignation, which takes effect Oct. 12, 2007.
January 2008: Marino starts working for DeNaples, earning $249,999-per-year as the full-time counsel for his non-casino interests.
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