The memo was written by a researcher Rhee herself hired. He claims he can't release it without DCPS's permission because it is a "work for hire." And this is where the story turns into a classic case of stonewalling:
So DCPS says it doesn't exist, but the IG contradicts them. Huh.
It gets worse:
Wait a minute: the Reid Weingarten?
Reuters is out with an intriguing storythat Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein has hired a prominent defense attorney. Shares of Goldman Sachs sank on the news, and ended the trading day at a 52-week low.Yes, folks, it's true: Michelle Rhee has hired the lawyer for Bernie Ebbers and Roman Polanski. Ebbers, at the center of one of the biggest fraud cases Wall Street has ever seen. And Polanski, one of the highest-profile celebrity criminal cases in American history.
UPDATE: Our Journal colleagues also have confirmed Blankfein hired a defense attorney. Goldman Sachs said Blankfein hired counsel amid a Senate report on events leading up to the financial crisis. Goldman said hiring legal counsel is “common in such situations.”
Here are some nuggets about Blankfein’s attorney, Steptoe & Johnson’s Reid Weingarten, an experienced Washington defense attorney.
Prior clients: Bernie Ebbers, the former WorldCom CEO convicted of securities fraud; Roman Polanski, the film director who has been wanted in the U.S. for decades-old charges involving having sex with a 13-year-old girl; Lauren Stevens, the GlaxoSmithKline attorney cleared of corporate misconduct; Former agriculture secretary Mike Espy, who won acquittal on corruption charges.
Quotable quotes: When Stevens, the Glaxo attorney, was cleared of misconduct by a judge, Weingarten said: ”We did not have a bad five minutes in that courtroom; if it had been a prize fight, they would have stopped it,” Weingarten was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story.
“I feel like I’m in the French Revolution, defending the nobility against the howling mob,” Weingarten told BusinessWeek for a 2002 profile, referring to his corporate clients. “They want to guillotine these people without any evidence.” (He used a similar French Revolution metaphor in a 2005 “Charlie Rose” interview.)
In the 2005 trial of Bernie Ebbers, during cross examination of government witness and former WorldCom CFO Scott Sullivan, Weingarten asked: ”So you looked those 12 people in the eye and lied your head off?” reported the New York Times.
Background: Used to work in the Department of Justice’s public integrity division. Described himself as a ”hard-core child of the ’60s,” according to a 2002BusinessWeek profile. Reportedly friends with Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General.
(BTW, several people have confirmed to me Weingarten is no relation to Randi Weingarten, the president of the AFT, the teacher union. It's a funny coincidence, though.)
Here's what I'd really like to know: Merrow says he got phone calls from Weingarten this summer. How did that happen, exactly? Did Weingarten call unsolicited? Was he calling in response to an inquiry made to Rhee? And why did Rhee feel she needed a prominent criminal defense attorney to answer Merrow?
This entire thing is getting stranger and stranger. It's time for the rest of the DC press and national education beat reporters to get in on this story.
Oh, I don't think that's necessary...