Civil Rights, Department of Justice, Job Searches, Litigatrix, Shanetta Cutlar

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Shanetta?

Shanetta Cutlar 2 Shanetta Y Cutlar Shanetta Brown Cutlar DOJ SPL Special Litigation Section Civil Rights Division.jpgAs we’ve discussed in these pages, certain concerns have been raised with respect to the diva-licious Shanetta Y. Cutlar’s management of the Special Litigation Section, in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. But figuring out how to deal with the Shanetta Cutlar situation is a bit tricky.
We recently learned of one possible solution:

Check out this DOJ posting, seeking a Director of the Professional Development Office in the Civil Rights Division.

When Albert Moskowitz was [eased] out as chief of the Criminal Section [of the Civil Rights Division] last year, he was put in this position. After a few weeks, he left for the Criminal Division.

I wonder if Shanetta Cutlar has been advised to apply for this opening.

This “Director of Professional Development” gig sounds quite cushy — a veritable sinecure at the DOJ. It carries with it a six-figure salary and job responsibilites that are vague and touchy-feely. It sounds like the perfect place to stick a senior official that you want to remove from her current position, but in a discreet, non-controversial, face-saving manner (i.e., without firing her or asking her to tender her resignation).
Our curiosity was piqued, so we did some follow-up. Discussion continues, after the jump.


A second source informed us:

[I recall this post] was newly created for Al Mosokowitz. I don’t believe it existed until they had it in for him, to get him out the door. There was a big email [that went around] about how this job was newly created for the Division, to improve its attorneys.

It’d be perfect for SYC. In fact, when the ombudsman asked for suggestions about how to deal with the Shanetta situation, one proposal that was submitted was to promote her, bring her up to the front office, and don’t put anyone under her.

Interesting. Furthermore, the timing of the vacancy announcement is suggestive. From our original source:

I’d say [this post] has been vacant for the better part of a year. You probably noticed that the position was posted on 2/2/07, so I’d say something only recently caused them to think about filling it.

We asked our sources whether Shanetta Cutlar would be right for a position that has the words “professional development” in the title. We received these responses:

“Interestingly, Shanetta may think herself ideal for such a position. She always is deriding attorneys for unprofessionalism, which she defines as anything that she doesn’t like.”

“[I]t would be perfect for SYC — she could develop training materials for spotting typos.”

Come to think of it, we agree. We could totally envision Shanetta Cutlar in this position. Her chastising of summer interns who don’t say hello to her in the hallways, her use of a ruler to pedantically check the spacing in her lawyers’ documents, her hazing of them in Docket Review, and her hawk-like monitoring of the length of their lunch breaks, could all be viewed as nothing but efforts to enforce “professionalism” (which is how we view in fact them, as devoted fans of SYC).
Okay, at this point we must pull back. Right now this is nothing more than rumor and speculation. For all we know, Shanetta Y. Cutlar will remain as head of the Special Litigation Section through the end of this Administration (and maybe even beyond, since she’s not a political appointee).
But let’s just say we’ll be following the filling of this vacancy with considerable interest.
Vacancy Announcement: Director, Professional Development Office [U.S. Department of Justice]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of the Special Litigation Section under Shanetta Cutlar (scroll down)

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