Saturday, July 07, 2007

Why wasn’t this U.S. attorney fired?

The White House and the Justice Department should have added Johnny Sutton to the list of federal prosecutors to be fired.

Sutton is the U.S. attorney in west Texas. For five years he has been the top federal lawman in one of the nation's busiest regions, a job he secured with deep ties to President Bush and Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales.

But in those five years, he’s conducted a campaign against law enforcement officers, especially Border Patrol agents. They include:
  • Border Patrol Agent Gary M. Brugman, sentenced to two years in prison for shoving an illegal alien to the ground. The use of force was in accordance with his training, he said, and the migrant was not injured.

  • Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, sentenced to more than decade-long prison terms for shooting a drug smuggler suspect in the buttocks after he abandoned 743 pounds of marijuana on the border.

  • Border Patrol Agent Noe Aleman, convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States for trying to adopt three teenage girls from Mexico and harboring them in his home. The girls were his wife's nieces and Texas officials had approved the adoption.

  • Edwards County, Texas, Deputy Sheriff Guillermo "Gilmer" Hernandez, sentenced to a year in prison for shooting at a truck loaded with illegal aliens after the driver tried to run him down.
Ramos and Compean were sentenced in October, just as the White House was preparing to fire eight other federal prosecutors. The parallel events have left many disappointed that Sutton was not terminated too.

'Johnny Sutton has lied to the American people,' Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntingon Beach) proclaimed in a House floor speech in March. 'Sutton prosecuted the good guys and gave immunity to the bad guys.'

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