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A 62-year-old former federal prosecutor has filed a lawsuit claiming the U.S. attorney waged a campaign to get rid of experienced lawyers and replace them with younger attorneys. In a federal lawsuit filed Monday, Larry Moon said the pressure from top prosecutor Jim Vines, 45, left Moon little choice but to resign in December 2003. The lawsuit repeats many of the charges about Vines contained in a recent internal Justice Department memo. “I cannot comment on any of the allegations, but we don’t discriminate in our employment practices,” Vines said, adding he also was restricted from commenting on the memo. The Justice Department has been investigating Moon’s discrimination claims since July 2003, but it has reached no conclusion. Vines, who had no previous experience as a prosecutor, was appointed to the job in February 2002. He said then he wanted to boost productivity; he has recruited several young prosecutors and brought in management strategies he used as general counsel for the tire manufacturer Bridgestone-Firestone. According to the internal memo, Moon grew depressed after his mother died and his marriage ended. After returning from an extended sick leave, he was handed a performance improvement plan containing a threat that he could be fired if he performed unsatisfactorily. Moon, who also is claiming disability discrimination, charges his workload increased thereafter. The work environment became “so intolerable as to compel a reasonable employee to quit,” the lawsuit states. Moon is seeking unspecified damages. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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