The Justice Department is feeling the fallout from its plan to close several regional antitrust division offices, with career attorneys telling the Washington Post that some would quit rather than move elsewhere.
DOJ officials announced plans earlier this month to close offices in Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas and Philadelphia. Attorneys and support staff would move to Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
However, attorneys told the Post that they had been caught by surprise and that colleagues will leave rather than take jobs in other offices.
“There aren’t a lot of people who’ve been with the division a long time who can pick up and move,” an antitrust attorney based in the Philadelphia office, told the newspaper. “Many people have families and spouses with jobs where they’re already located. And there’s no assurances that in two years there won’t be further cuts, and then we’ll lose a job we picked up and moved for.”
Attorneys told the Post that the division also is hiring new recruits for its New York office and paying hefty relocation costs despite the department-wide hiring freeze.
Gina Talamona, a DOJ spokeswoman, said the moves would save money and add staffers to larger international investigations.