July 8th, 2009
07:44 PM ET
13 years ago

Ex-AG Gonzales lands Texas Tech job

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/08/art.albertogonzales0709.gi.jpg caption="Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has taken a job at Texas Tech University."](CNN) - Nearly two years after being pushed out of office by a scandal surrounding the firing of federal prosecutors, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has taken a job at Texas Tech University, the school announced Tuesday.

Gonzales will work to recruit minority students for the Lubbock-based college's diversity office and teach a junior-level political science seminar on "Contemporary Issues in the Executive Branch," according to a statement from Texas Tech.

"I am excited that Alberto Gonzales is bringing his experience to Texas Tech," Kent Hance, Texas Tech's chancellor, said in the statement. "His own upbringing in Houston as part of a migrant family with eight children makes him qualified to tell underrepresented Texas students that college is possible."

Gonzales became the lawyer in the 1990s for then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who later appointed him to the state Supreme Court. In 2001, he followed Bush to Washington to serve as White House counsel and attorney general - a post he was forced out of in August 2007, amid several investigations into the Justice Department he led.

A special prosecutor is still looking into whether Justice Department officials broke the law in the 2006 dismissals of at least eight U.S. attorneys, several of whom have said they were fired after refusing to mount prosecutions they considered politically motivated. During appearances before Congress, Gonzales appeared to contradict himself, other officials or Justice Department documents and repeatedly said he did not recall the answers to senators' questions.

And Gonzales was at the center of a dispute into the Bush administration's warrantless surveillance program. He originally told senators that there was no dissent among administration officials over the program. But after former Deputy Attorney General James Comey described a dramatic confrontation among top White House, Justice and FBI officials in then-Attorney General John Ashcroft's hospital room, Gonzales acknowledged he "may have created confusion" in his testimony.

Gonzales had blamed "a very tough economy" and ongoing investigations into his tenure at the Justice Department for his extended stretch of unemployment following his 2007 resignation.

"That is why I am working as hard as I can with my legal team to try to get these investigations completed as quickly as possible, because I am anxious to move on to the next phase of my life," he told CNN in February. "I feel like I still have a lot to contribute to our community and to our country and I want to do so."

Filed under: Alberto Gonzales
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. William in Lubbock

    R-Maine and LB-Flordia: yall are pretty quick to condemn Texas and Texas Tech without thinking about the full situation. Do yall really think he is going to be able to teach a class or work with students without those students chastising him? If yall think we would let that go then yall really naive and should probably pull yourselves out of the gene pool and quit polluting the human race.

    July 8, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Cnn please post my thoughts! 1 love!

    We dont like Gonzales......if he had any class or dignity he should have resigned earlier like Colin Powell did, he has no dignity....and Hispanics a proud people see this guy as an eyesore and disgrace! Hispanics are patriots too!

    July 8, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. GOP = 21st century dodo

    "Based on some of the messages found here, the Left seems very anti-Hispanic."

    If you'll notice, these comments criticize him not for his race, but for his job performance.

    July 8, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Lee C.

    The only thing Mr. Gonzales will be able to teach his students is this:
    "Break the Law" and you will surely get ahead. He can point to himself and say, "Look at Me!" Is it any wonder that our young people are confused and rebellious. Putting Mr. Gonzales in charge of student careers is like putting the Fox in the Chicken Coop. What a joke!

    July 8, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Johnny G.

    Texas Tech has always been percieved as a second tier educational institution and now we all know why. Why doesn't Kent Hance hire the Watergate Plumbers while he's at it?

    July 8, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. John Stryker

    I guess living in Texas is a little like prison.

    July 8, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. JT in Fla

    Huzzahs and Kudos to Charles. He hit it right on yhe head!

    July 8, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  8. Juan

    This is not a high-paying job. It's not an academic position. His relevant qualifications are being Latino, speaking Spanish and being a college graduate. As long as this isn't merely a way to get his foot in the door to teach or set policy, I don't think there is a reason for even his most critical opponents to be very upset.

    July 8, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Douglas Hughes

    So is this part of a Texas Tech initiative to recruit war criminals? Are they limiting the program to government War Criminals are are they opening it up to torture techs from the CIA and Army? What about foreign scholarships for our overseas torture partners?

    July 8, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. RepublicanturnedDemocrat

    Seriously, who cares?!!!!!

    July 8, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  11. Gasman

    The Texas Tech job is probably the most underwhelming gig that any former U.S. Attorney General has ever had. It's a pathetically small and insignificant bone tossed his way out of pity. My guess is that he will bring the same dedication and ethics to his new position as his last and he will not be asked to return. Shame on TT for so debasing their own name by hiring such a legal Lilliputian.

    From his goofy legal opinions while in the Bush administration, it is obvious that Gonzo has never read the U.S. Constitution. His class should be a real hoot. I feel for the students who are stuck with him as a teacher.

    July 8, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. AlwaysThinking

    Let's see ... he'll teach courses like:

    – 42 Ways to Say "I Don't Remember"
    – Getting the Unconscious To Sign Documents from Their Hospital Bed
    – Circumventing the Constitution With a Straight Face

    July 8, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Hugo Castrobama

    It's funny to see the same Democrats who scream 'racist' against any reasoned questions raised about the shady activities of Sonia Sotomayor are the same ones who are always first to try and destroy ANY minorities in the Republican party. Just who are the racists here...?

    July 8, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Mary Mary

    GREAT! Perpetuating his sick, sadistic philosophy through education. Any surprise he's back in Texas? It's the sinkhole of humanity that created him in the first place. Weren't they going to leave the U.S.? Please, tell me where I can send the check to help them!

    July 8, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. merion dixon

    This makes me sick!!!

    July 8, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. chris

    Alberto deserves better than Texas Tech. Wasn't there at least one high school in the Appalachians that would have hired him? Gig'em Aggies!

    July 8, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Republicans are the American Taliban

    So he will now be teaching college students how to lie?

    July 8, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Ava from Florida

    This isn't a big job. It is higher ed....administration.

    July 8, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  19. Wayne in Lubbock

    Kent Hance alone is responsible for hiring this good ol' boy connection. Note the absence of the univeristy president. Hance doesn't understand the make-up of the organization at the university, and what's more – he does not care about it or the people who serve in it. He considers Texas Tech his personal sand box. There was no hiring committee, I assure you of that.

    July 8, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    Good place for him Have you ever been to Lubbock?

    July 8, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  21. Jean

    Once again CNN shows their bias – how is this any different from the allegedly illegal firing by the Obama administration of Former Inspector General Gerald Walpin. You will recall that Walpin filed two reports exposing gross misappropriation of federal AmeriCorps funds by a prominent Barack Obama supporter and was shortly thereafter fired by the White House. Seems Obama invoked the exact same rights in this instance that Bush did when he fired those Federal Prosecutors who "serve at the pleasure of the President". Bush had every right to fire the prosecutors as I am sure Obama had the right to fire Walpin however the ruckus thrown up about what Bush did was idiotic – where is the outrage at what happened to Walpin and the timing of that in conjunction with his reports on Obama's buddy? Talk about hypocritical politicians and hypocritical press and hypocritical left-leaning liberals.

    July 8, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Zero.

    But she is in love with Barack Obama. She come on all the time making excuses.

    July 8, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. Alexa

    Oh great! and I can't even get a second job at McDonald's to pay my bills down.

    July 8, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. BobH

    Well, I'm not a fan of Gonzalez's– I think he was irresponsible both when serving Gov. Bush and President Bush. He certainly seemed to have little respect for the law, and was expert at finding ways to circumvent it when it was convenient for his boss.

    At the same time, CNN's headline leads you to believe he got some cushy, high-paying executive job. They don't reveal what he's being paid, but it would be surprising if this was anything like Cheney got from Halliburton after Bush 1...

    July 8, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. DaBird

    For those of you commenting negatively on Gonzo, please look up the firing of Gerald Walpin. Obama and his Chicago thugs fired him without the required 30 day notice because he was investigating KJ, Obama's friend.

    July 8, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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