Monday, October 29, 2007

email underway

an email summarizing organizing efforts was distributed to home emails of AG staff beginning today. text of that email will be posted here shortly.

please note that you may comment anonymously on this blog at any time. the intent of this tool is to provide a free flowing information center regarding the current situation in our office and about the effort being made to improve it.


Anonymous said...

Finally! what is going on? Is Lori owning up to her endorsement yet? Why all the reluctance?

Anonymous said...

Frankly, it is a mystery to many of us how Lori reconciles her identity as a DFL endorsed public official and her management philosophy which is decidedly undemocratic and extremely autocratic. The Attorney General's Office has historically had a fantastically talented staff that exercised its professional judgment on behalf of the citizens of the state of Minnesota. The attorney general's office was driven by a clear mission: Do The Right Thing. Under the law, under the rules of ethics, in accordance with high professional standards, on behalf of the state of Minnesota. Lori has a mission statement to serve the citizens, for sure, but her idea of "serving" citizens is primarily sending a three-page letter,that does not answer the person's question, but lists every other elected political official, or federal or state agency, other than the Attorney General's office, that might possibly receive the citizen's complaint. the letter is designed to impress the citizen mainly for its promptness and its generous use of state paper products and postage.

Now, for whatever combination of factors, Lori Swanson will not permit the staff any freedom to act. That includes sending a letter without having both the manager and the manager's manager (deputy attorney general) edit and approve it. Lori Swanson herself edits a large number of citizen letters and other documents.
The micromanagement has a number of drawbacks - not the least of which is the demoralization of the staff. Attorneys, legal assistants, investigators and the secretaries took a great deal of pride in their work. Now, the joy of crafting a great letter, pleading, brief, memo or other document is diminished greatly because of the rigid process employed within the attorney general's office. Feedback from the staff on how to improve the work environment and meet Lori Swanson's objectives are not welcome. People fear for their jobs and livelihoods if they attempt to voice reasonable concerns about management directives. This is not healthy in any organization or company and the employees who have reached out through this blog or through conversations with their colleagues generally want to explore whether union representation would be a viable way to address concerns.

The irony is that with as much work as people actually do, the office could really have a greater impact and do much more work effectively if only the Attorney General herself learned to respect and trust the very people who work for the office.

She should be focusing on the big picture, not whether Office should be capitalized or not.

And word to the wise (Lori): stop revealing or sharing confidential Attorney General investigative data with Mike Hatch about which companies or entities you are investigating. He still has the big mouth and people can figure out where the information leak is coming from.