I have updated my original reporting on the firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin but so much information is becoming available that some of it deserves it’s own little spot in the webosphere. Be sure to watch the AmeriCorps video below. It will remind you of the “change” President Obama has in mind for us, as he removes the voices that report AmeriCorps’ misconduct and waste of taxpayer funds. See update 11-10-09 below.
First some commentary. Perhaps you can supply some answers:
Here’s a few questions I have about Inspector Generals. In this case, Walpin was employed by a corporation. The corporation would supposedly be invested in the IG ferreting out misuse of federal monies. In this case, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) appears to be invested in funneling money to whomever they choose, and the appearance is they are thwarting the IG’s ability to do the job. So of what value is the IG position?
The idea is that the IG does not work for the White House, and so political motivations are taken out of the equation. However, Barack Obama did the firing. Michelle Obama is doing the hiring. Is there something I’m missing here?
Background and original reporting with updates:
Gerald Walpin was the Inspector General recently fired by President Barack Obama. The firing was handled outside of a Congressionally-mandated statute which requires the President to provide details of the reasons for the firing. Again, Obama ignored the statute and the White House counsel simply said their reasons were sufficient.
Walpin had investigated an Obama donor, Sacramento, CA Mayor Kevin Johnson, and his handling of government funds to his own organization, the St. Hope Academy. The investigations all involved AmeriCorps.
Walpin’s audits are posted online: IG Walpin’s “Audit Reports with thanks to Michelle Malkin.
I’ve opened only two to-date. The first on Walpin’s list reported a $6,976 “education award” (read that taxpayer money) with $12,740 in administrative costs. The second was an audit of AmeriCorps April 1, 2005 through December 2007 which showed a disputed $7.7 million dollars.
Michelle Obama possibly has a part in this.
The corporation that Walpin works for, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), is moving her chief of staff, Jackie Norris, to CNCS as a senior advisor.
Walpin advised that the federal government “should halt the program and recover up to $75 million. CNCS, however thumbed their noses at that and said they would not go after the money. So much for Inspector Generals who do their job.
Gerald Walpin replied by email to the White House Counsel Norm Eisen, who made the phone call to Walpin, instructing Walpin to resign or be fired within one hour (via Jake Tapper):
Walpin told Eisen that he took “this statutorily-mandated independence of my office very seriously, and, under the present circumstance, I simply cannot make a decision to respect or decline what you have said were the President’s wishes within an hour or indeed any such short time.”
Congress intended the Inspector General of CNCS to have the utmost independence of judgment in his deliberations respecting the propriety of the agency’s conduct and the actions of its officers. That is why the relevant statute provides that the President may remove the IG only if he supplies the Congress with a statement of his reasons – which is quite a different matter than executive branch officials who serve at his pleasure and can therefore be removed for any reason and without notification to Congress.
Note that until Walpin sent this email, Obama had not notified Congress, and to-date has not provide Congress with the reasons for Walpin’s firing, as mandated by congressional statute.
More as it becomes available. In the meantime, take a look at Storm’n Norm’n’s commentary on AmeriCorp/ACORN.
Announced today that Gerald Walpin has been cleared of charges that he
overstepped his authority in his investigation of AmeriCorps and Kevin
Johnson. Read the story here.
Related and background:
Schwarzenegger Involvement: Kevin Johnson Investigation by Gerald Walpin
U.S. Attorney Larry Brown and CnCS Displeasure with Walpin’s Investigation
Gerald Walpin Firing Update: AmeriCorp $75 Million Misused: Michelle Obama Hires?