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Former US attorney in North Dakota calls shutdown a no-win

January 11, 2019

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A former U.S. attorney from North Dakota who went through a government shutdown in 2013 says the most difficult part of his tenure was sending people home without pay.

Timothy Purdon, who now works in private practice for the Minneapolis-based Robins Kaplan firm, says employees who are forced on furlough take it as a message that what they do doesn’t matter. He says it’s devastating for the morale of a U.S attorney’s office.

Purdon says it can also create hard feelings down the road for people who are kept on the job if Congress decides to award retroactive pay to furloughed employees. He calls it a no-win situation.

Most employees placed on furlough in the U.S. attorney’s office are on the civil side because criminal cases are given priority.

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