Friday, March 23, 2007
Iglesias Seeking Apology
By Michael Coleman
Copyright © 2007 Albuquerque Journal; Journal Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias said Thursday he might write a book to tell his life story and wants a government retraction and apology for his firing.
Iglesias told the Journal on Thursday that he has been approached by three "literary agents" two from the East Coast and one from the West Coast who have expressed interest in signing him to a book deal.
The New Mexico Republican, who was forced to resign as the state's U.S. attorney on Dec. 7, declined to name the agents or publishing houses and said he has not yet inked a deal.
Iglesias and seven other federal prosecutors are at the center of a political controversy pitting Democrat-controlled congressional committees against the Bush administration.
"I've been approached about writing a book," Iglesias said. "As I understand it, it would be kind of an inspirational biography like (former Secretary of State) Colin Powell's.
"I'm not interested in doing a scandalous kiss-and-tell book. That's not who I am. If I do this, I want it to be uplifting."
Iglesias is a former Navy lawyer who was involved in the case that gave rise to the Tom Cruise character in "A Few Good Men."
He said government e-mails released over the past two weeks show he wasn't targeted for poor job performance until after Sen. Pete Domenici and Rep. Heather Wilson, both Republicans, called him last October to ask about public corruption cases.
Domenici and other New Mexico Republicans began complaining about Iglesias to the Justice Department more than a year ago.
Domenici and Wilson have said their calls were not inappropriate.
White House and Justice officials contend Iglesias was forced out because of a general "lack of leadership" and for failing to move aggressively against voter fraud and public corruption in New Mexico.
On Thursday, Iglesias told the Journal he hopes the Justice Department will clear his name.
"I've asked for a written retraction from the Department of Justice stating that performance had nothing to do with my termination," he said during a telephone interview. "This is so that any future employer won't have any doubt that performance was not the true basis of my dismissal. Your name is all you have."
Justice Department officials did not return phone calls Thursday.
In a New York Times Op-ed on Wednesday, Iglesias defended his job performance and asked that Justice officials publicly retract their comments that he was fired for "performance-related" reasons.
On Tuesday night, Bush held a news conference and thanked Iglesias and the other seven fired U.S. attorneys for their service, but said he stood by the decision to let them go.
"I appreciate his gratitude for my service this marks the first time I have been thanked," Iglesias wrote. "But only a written retraction by the Justice Department setting the record straight regarding my performance would settle the issue with me."