Is ‘Morale’ Legalese for ‘Money’?

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Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. speaks to the media after a bail hearing was held for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former International Monetary Fund head, at Manhattan Criminal Court May 19, 2011 in New York. State Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus said that Strauss-Kahn, 62, can be released on one million USD cash bail, and placed under 24-hour home detention with electronic monitoring -- conditions that had been proposed by his lawyers. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. speaks to the media after a bail hearing was held for Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former International Monetary Fund head, at Manhattan Criminal Court May 19, 2011 in New York. State Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus said that Strauss-Kahn, 62, can be released on one million USD cash bail, and placed under 24-hour home detention with electronic monitoring -- conditions that had been proposed by his lawyers. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

The Manhattan District Attorney's office has not had a good summer in the press: Cyrus Vance's shop has been portrayed as ham-fisted at best in its handling of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case and the Deutsche Bank fire case — not to mention the scrutiny the office received when two police officers accused of rape were acquitted. "[K]eeping up morale has been an unavoidable part of the job" for Vance, reports the Times. So a top Vance aide called a pow-wow, and asked employees to air their grievances. The lawyers offered not only complaints, but hinted at an easy solution.


They were upset at how the office’s handling of the Dominique Strauss-Kahn case was portrayed in the news media, but their concerns ran much deeper than a single case: they were concerned that internal office conflicts had found their way into newspaper articles; they said they were micromanaged; they said that people were worried that they had not received raises. [emphasis ours]

People — unspecified third parties, who could even be concerned citizens, but certainly not the lawyers raising the question of money in the meeting itself — were worried about their proper remuneration. And so, maybe to raise morale, maybe to reward that acrobatic little instance of motive-shifting, there will indeed be raises in the D.A.'s office. Who said anything about a bad summer?

a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/nyregion/lifting-morale-in-manhattan-district-attorneys-office.html?ref=nyregion">After Setbacks, Taking Steps to Bolster Prosecutors’ Morale, Including a Raise [NYT]