By the time he was fired late last year, former San Francisco U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan’s stock seemed to have dropped so low among Justice Department officials that even routine communications were met with dismissiveness and sarcasm.

As early as last March, e-mails show, Justice Department officials were annoyed with Ryan for issuing a press release that crowed about the U.S. Sentencing Commission’s new guidelines for steroid offenses — a pet issue of Ryan’s, since he prosecuted the BALCO steroids case.

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