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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Parting thoughts on Hatch's resignation

It would have been a much more dignified end for Mike Hatch's career as Attorney General if he had turned in his office keys four months ago like he was supposed to. And the man is in many ways a walking HR problem with anger-management issues, there is no denying that. However, properly channeled, some of his worst qualities -- his aggressiveness, his single-minded determination, his anger and indignation -- could also be some of his best qualities.

He did do the consumers of this state some service. I wouldn't want that forgotten because of his tardy exit from the AG's Office. When he was taking his hammer to unscrupulous lenders he was fine, but when he took it to his employees, he was out of line. I have heard Mr. Hatch compared to a bull dog, and that is an apt analogy. As AG, he was happiest when he was out chasing insurers or health-care providers on behalf of consumers. But when he was locked in the office, he would start to tear up the furniture. Eventually enough was enough, and it was time for him to go out.

I wish Mr. Hatch the best of luck in the private sector. I have no doubt that there is a job out there where he can put his energy and aggressiveness to good use. Meanwhile, I would call on AG Lori Swanson to make her office a place where the staff enjoys coming to work and serving the citizens of this state. They are dedicated public servants and deserve that.

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