Reason to question the shakeup at DYRS
By Liz Ryan
The July 23 editorial “Judged too soon” criticized me and other advocates for raising serious concerns about Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s commitment to juvenile justice reform and for calling for an investigation of D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles’s involvement in the recent shakeup at the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services and other decisions regarding juvenile justice. The Post alleged that I and others acted rashly and without merit. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The mayor’s decision to abruptly and without consultation replace Marc A. Schindler as interim director of the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services should alone raise questions. The mayor’s decision to replace Mr. Schindler with Robert Hildum, a D.C. assistant attorney general who at Mr. Nickles’s request authored a “confidential” report criticizing juvenile justice reform, raises more.
The fact that I and others asked for an investigation of Mr. Nickles’s involvement in Mr. Schindler’s replacement and other decisions on juvenile justice demonstrates our commitment to reducing youth recidivism — the opposite of what The Post accuses us of.
Despite the fact that Mr. Nickles was warned by Judge Herbert Dixon about a potential conflict of interest for his role in the Jerry M. case regarding the District’s juvenile justice system, it appears that Mr. Nickles repeatedly gave counsel to the mayor that a reasonable observer could view as a conflict with his previous position as lead plaintiff’s counsel.
I ask The Post’s editorial board: Whose rushed judgment? Yours or mine?
The writer is president and chief executive of the Campaign for Youth Justice.
| July 26, 2010; 10:11 PM ET
Categories: D.C., HotTopic, Mayor Fenty
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