Jeffrey Taylor, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, is waiting on approval for a plan that would fatten his office with lawyers from private firms, who would serve six-month stints as special prosecutors in D.C. Superior Court, the WaPo reports.
If the Justice Department and the D.C. Court of Appeals bless the plan, it would be the first of its kind – and a striking example of a U.S. attorney groping for more resources during a wartime budget crunch.
"It's an indication of just how short-staffed the federal government is right now," Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University and an expert on federal bureaucracy, told the WaPo. "We are not hiring many employees outside of the war on terrorism, which is leaving many agencies under-resourced for their mission."
Taylor’s office would provide lawyers some “formative training” before deploying them to the District’s local trial court to handle misdemeanor cases. The idea strikes some as a good way to prop up the nation’s largest U.S. Attorney’s office while allowing private firms to bulk up on their pro bono work. Detractors say the plan is nothing less than outsourcing justice.