Firing by Bush rejected by boundary officialSo what's the problem? The State Department and the DoJ both opined that his department is not part of the US government an advised him to hire outside council. He hired outside council, including Feldman and Mike McKay, a former US Attorney.
A dispute over a backyard wall in Whatcom County has reached all the way to the White
House, with President Bush firing International Boundary Commissioner Dennis Schornack
over his handling of the matter.
In a strongly worded letter to Bush, Schornack said the International Boundary
Commission (IBC) is an independent, international organization outside the U.S.
government's jurisdiction. Schornack wrote that according to the 1908 treaty that
created the IBC, a vacancy can only be created by "the death, resignation or other
disability" of a commissioner.
"I am unable to recognize the authority of this communication because I don't believe
that you would knowingly act beyond your authority, outside the law or to otherwise
jeopardize the national security of the United States," Schornack wrote.
A dejected Schornack said Wednesday: "I am ashamed of my government." Bush nominated him
to the IBC in 2001.
Schornack sought assistance from the State Department, but was told the agency could not
help with the lawsuit because the IBC is an independent entity, Feldman said.
The Justice Department advised Schornack to hire outside counsel to assist the IBC, so
Schornack enlisted Feldman's services.
Well, as usual, the problem is Bushco:
lawyers at Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., and acting Assistant Attorney General Ronald Tenpas particularly wanted to settle the suitHow can it be a 'personnel matter' if Schornack doesn't work for the DoJ and isn't part of the US government?
Late Tuesday, Schornack received a faxed letter from Liza Wright, assistant to the
president for personnel, informing him Bush had terminated his appointment "effective
The White House referred calls about the firing to the Department of Justice, but
officials there declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter.
But best of all Schornack, a Bush nominee who isn't employed at the 'pleasure of the President', stood up and did the right thing.
We can be heroes.