Fired prosecutor says politics did him in

March 15, 2007 at 3:51 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 15 (UPI) -- One of the U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration last year said politics, not poor performance, was behind his dismissal.

"I am disappointed with the president," John McKay, formerly the U.S. attorney in western Washington, told CBS News. "I am disappointed with the attorney general."

McKay was one of eight federal prosecutors whose dismissals last year have caused a firestorm on Capitol Hill, including calls for the dismissal of U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Three months before he was fired, a review described McKay as "effective, well-regarded and a capable leader," CBS reported.

McKay told CBS that when a Democrat won the state's 2004 governor's race, he didn't call a grand jury to investigate voter fraud -- and said he heard about it later.

"I did apply to be a federal judge last fall and at that time questions were directed to me about the 2004 governor's election in Washington state," he told CBS.

"Any individual prosecutor is replaceable," McKay told CBS. "What's not replaceable is our reputation for fairness and our reputation for independence from political influences."

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