Here’s a brief update on Shanetta Cutlar, one of our favorite figures here at ATL. For those of you not familiar with Cutlar — who heads the Special Litigation Section in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department, where she has presided over what her critics have described as a reign of terror — page through our archives (or just read the blockquote in this post).
Yesterday afternoon, Cutlar convened a section meeting where she announced that she will be stepping down as head of the Special Litigation Section (“SPL”). According to attendees, Cutlar explained that she had lost the confidence of the Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.
Cutlar is also leaving SPL, but staying on at the DOJ. Where is she headed next?
Apparently Cutlar is moving over to the
Bureau of Justice Statistics Bureau of Justice Assistance, which is part of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). If this sounds like a form of exile, perhaps that’s because it is.
UPDATE / CORRECTION: We corrected the foregoing after hearing from a source as follows:
SYC is headed to the Bureau of Justice Assistance rather than the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Not that I really know the difference.
One tipster claims that Cutlar was fighting back tears at yesterday’s meeting. But it seems that many of the people who worked under her at SPL are rejoicing. Former SPL lawyer Ty Clevenger, who sued (and settled with) Cutlar and the Justice Department, gave us this report on how his ex-colleagues reacted:
Apparently the entire staff is celebrating right now, getting ready to head over to happy hour. [One staffer] said it’s like the Berlin Wall just fell.
Apparently the front office told SYC a couple of weeks ago that she was not running her section effectively, but they asked her to stay on until they could find someone else. She refused, and today she said she was going to somewhere else in DOJ (outside of CRD).
Since DOJ had to pay me a nice chunk of change, I’d like to think that helped sink her ship. Regardless, I’m just glad the people in Special Litigation — including the interns — don’t have to tolerate that monster anymore.
We reached out to Shanetta Cutlar for comment, but we have not heard back from her. We wish her — and her new colleagues and underlings — the best of luck.
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Shanetta Cutlar (scroll down)