Justice Department Labor Union AFGE Reacts to Gonzales Resignation

Commenting on the resignation of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the American Federation of Government Employees — which represents more than 20,000 employees at the Department of Justice — today said the resignation was the first step in restoring the credibility to the agency.

AFGE National President John Gage offered the following statement:

“Gonzales’ resignation was inevitable. It’s unfortunate that it took so long, and proved that he was not the right man for the job. He lacked proper judgment, and his outright refusal to be honest and upstanding was a disservice to the DoJ. His prior refusal to step down was an embarrassment to the federal government, a detriment to the work of DoJ employees and put the agency in poor standing with the American public.

“AFGE is cautiously optimistic that the next attorney general will be committed to resurrecting the longstanding, proud reputation of DoJ that was shattered by Gonzales and Bush’s political interference.

“It’s imperative to acknowledge former Deputy Attorney General James Comey and FBI Director Robert Mueller, both of whom refused to become pawns in the administration’s game. Their integrity and courage is what government service is about, and is what our members represent.

“AFGE — and the nation — will look to President Bush to appoint an Attorney General who can restore the agency to its once-proud standing as a fair and unbiased federal agency.”

AFGE is the largest federal employee union representing 600,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

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