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June 6, 2013

"Prosecutor who got 'Hulk' email from federal judge leaves Justice Department"

The title of this post is this latest news emerging from the Des Moines Register concerning the questionable conduct of a new federal judge and federal prosecutors in Iowa.  Here are some of the ugly details: 

The federal prosecutor who received a controversial email from U.S. District Judge Stephanie Rose comparing herself to the Hulk and advising lawyers not to make her angry has left her job with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The departure of Shannon Olson, the former appellate chief for Iowa’s southern judicial district, follows the exit of another federal prosecutor who claims she was fired as the result of age discrimination and harassment by Rose.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said Wednesday that Olson no longer works for the Department of Justice, but he declined to say why or when her employment had ended. Olson’s departure follows allegations in court documents that an email Rose sent to her in January might have been intended to warn of potential consequences if Olson testified in the civil lawsuit that accuses Rose of age discrimination and harassment. Olson could not be reached for comment by The Des Moines Register.

Rose has declined to answer the Register’s questions but has indicated she would do so after court cases about the matters are resolved. In court papers, Rose has characterized allegations about her conduct as “inaccurate, at best, and deliberately misleading, at worst.”

The controversial Hulk email was sent by Rose to Olson in January, four months after Rose’s lifetime appointment as a federal judge was confirmed. Two hours after she sentenced a drug dealer to eight years in prison, Rose sent Olson an email in which she likened herself to the comic-book character the Hulk, saying, “You won’t like me when I’m angry. There’s a lesson in there for all attorneys.”...

The email is one of at least three that Rose sent to prosecutors earlier this year. They were first disclosed in the Holm case when prosecutors notified defense attorneys that Rose had written to prosecutor Nicholas Klinefeldt, questioning some of his staff’s practices.

The majority of the issues raised in those emails were related to the wording of court pleadings. But Rose also expressed a concern that prosecutors weren’t presenting all of their evidence, some of which could be used to extend the prison terms of defendants.

After prosecutors mentioned those emails at a hearing, Rose entered the documents into Holm’s court record, but sealed them from public view. A few weeks later, she wrote to several Iowa defense attorneys whose prosecutions she had questioned. She wrote that it was her understanding that Klinefeldt’s office had shared her emails with other members of the bar, and that “inaccurate, or incomplete, information about the email exchange is floating through the bar. And in my experience, that is never a good thing.”

Rose attached copies of the email exchanges with Klinefeldt, but she did not include the email referring to the Hulk that she sent to Olson. Rose has described her emails to prosecutors as “entirely appropriate, generic contact” about errors and inconsistencies in their court filings....

The Code of Conduct for federal judges states that generally a judge should not initiate, permit, or consider communications with only one side in a case except for scheduling, administrative, or emergency purposes, and only if the communication doesn’t address substantive matters.

And, according to the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on the Code of Conduct, a judge shouldn’t “provide guidance on the ins-and-outs of practice” before the judge’s court or “provide direct assistance in a given case.”

Rose has been a U.S. district judge for the Southern District of Iowa for nine months. She previously worked as a prosecutor and served as U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Iowa from 2009 through August 2012.

The Register has filed a formal Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Department of Justice. Among other things, the Register has asked for all emails between Rose and federal prosecutors in Iowa over an 18-week period.

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June 6, 2013 at 04:59 PM | Permalink

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Comments

At least we can take some solace that Rose was 1 of 93 United States Attorneys. As 1 of 93 she could quantitatively do a lot of damage to the perception of legitimacy of the legal system. Now, as 1 of over 2700 district judges she should be able to only do proportionately less quantitative damage to the legitimacy of the legal system. Unfortunately, district judges have a higher public profile than US Attorneys. As a result Rose can qualitatively do a lot damage.

Posted by: ? | Jun 6, 2013 9:34:49 PM

Judge wants to protect public safety.

Hierarchy will now see her destroyed.

Criminal Cult Enterprise members among the commentators all agree with this destruction.

Weird: The Supremacy is the only one defending this VFL.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 6, 2013 10:24:51 PM

? -

There are 94 judicial districts, and 678 district judges.

Posted by: Jay | Jun 6, 2013 11:01:10 PM

well SC I think this judge is an asswhipe who needs to run into a baseball bat in a dark alley.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jun 6, 2013 11:12:01 PM

I don't know if an asswhip has an e on it but wordpress is underlining the word as I write here. Methinks that the judge still thinks she is a prosecutor rather than an impartial judge. She will never be an impartial judge. She should resign or be impeached. She might need psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Jun 6, 2013 11:18:41 PM

Is it possible, people are responding well to the campaign to destroy a judge stepping outside the line, like the yelling crowd at the burning at the stake of a heretic? Seriously, I review your emails. I could not find a bunch that violated your personal professional code of conduct, with vague standards such as unprofessional conduct. Except for Bill, who among us could not be destroyed by our emails?

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 7, 2013 1:59:58 AM

Rodsmith,

Please don't feed the trolls.

Posted by: Todd | Jun 7, 2013 1:07:49 PM

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