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Here’s a statement issued by At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson. He heads the council judiciary committee, which has oversight over the Office of the Attorney General:
Linda Singer’s resignation comes as a complete surprise and does not bode well for the office. The Office of the Attorney General is critical to the District government’s success. As the city’s law firm, this office defends the city, prosecutes on behalf of the city, and provides critical legal support to every city agency. The abrupt resignation creates renewed instability and concerns me greatly.
That Peter Nickles will be interim Attorney General is a mistake. There is a principal deputy AG who served quite well as acting Attorney General previously, and there are other deputies who are well qualified and who can step up temporarily. To appoint one of them would not only promote competence but provide stability to this important office in this moment of instability. On the other hand, Mr. Nickles has been a source of friction. Moreover, he is not a District resident. So if nothing else, we know there will be more turnover.
As you know, council colleagues have been increasingly outspoken about the need for greater cooperation and consultation between the branches of government. In this instance I learned of Ms. Singer’s resignation from the Washington Post. I hope the Mayor will be consultative with the Council and its Judiciary Committee as he moves forward to restore leadership to the Attorney General’s office.
Finally, Linda Singer was a public servant who wanted to improve the work of the city government’s law firm. She clearly cared about the little guy – from activism in the area of consumer protection, to filing lawsuits against slum landlords, to using the law to keep guns off our streets. It is unfortunate that she came to the government with such high hopes, and now leaves after less than one year.
More City Desk blanket Linda Singer resignation coverage:
• Singer Resigns, Reports Frustrations With Nickles
• Cheh: Singer Resignation “Extremely Disappointing”
• Mayor Will Not Name Nickles to Permanent Post