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Justice Dept. Issues a Callback

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Job applicants who were rejected by the Justice Department because of improper political considerations will be urged to apply for open positions, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey told an audience yesterday.

"Two wrongs do not make a right," Mukasey told the American Bar Association yesterday in New York. "The people hired in an improper way did not, themselves, do anything wrong. It therefore would be unfair -- and quite possibly illegal given their civil service protections -- to fire or reassign them without individual cause."

Mukasey explicitly ruled out criminal prosecution of former Justice Department employees who investigators say ran afoul of civil service laws, echoing congressional testimony last month by Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. 

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