Obama Abusing His Power Again: Fires IG Who Found Misuse of Federal Funds by Obama Supporter
Hmmm….this Inspector General uncovered some ‘misspent funds’ by one of Obama’s supporters and suddenly this IG is fired???? Sounds fishy to me!! Just goes to show once again that if you mess with Obama or his big supporters, you will pay!! He is a bully and a dictator! They say these allegations are meritless, but then why are they re-paying over $400,000? This is ridiculous. Obama is surrounded by criminals and unethical people and if you point it out, you’ll be fired! I honestly think Obama needs to be investigated for mis-using his position! All of his criminal friends get away with everything they do! Sickening! Note, after the article below, the fired IG’s email to the administration after he was told he should resign or be fired. It shows they were bullying him.
Obama Fires AmeriCorps Inspector General Over Scandal
President Obama’s move follows an investigation by IG Gerald Walpin of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is an Obama supporter and former NBA basketball star, into the misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group that Johnson headed
WASHINGTON — President Obama says he has lost confidence in the inspector general who investigates AmeriCorps and other national service programs and has told Congress he is removing him from the position.
Obama’s move follows an investigation by IG Gerald Walpin of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is an Obama supporter and former NBA basketball star, into the misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group that Johnson headed.
Walpin was criticized by the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento for the way he handled an investigation of Johnson and St. HOPE Academy, a nonprofit group that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants from the Corporation for National Community Service. The corporation runs the AmeriCorps program.
“It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General,” Obama said in a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Joe Biden, who also serves as president of the Senate. “That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”
The president didn’t offer any more explanation, but White House Counsel Gregory Craig, in a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, cited the U.S. attorney’s criticism of Walpin to an integrity committee for inspectors general.
“We are aware of the circumstances leading to that referral and of Mr. Walpin’s conduct throughout his tenure and can assure you that the president’s decision was carefully considered,” Craig wrote.
Grassley had written Obama a letter pointing to a law requiring that Congress be given the reasons an IG is fired. He cited a Senate report saying the requirement is designed to ensure that inspectors general are not removed for political reasons.
Grassley said Walpin had identified millions of dollars in AmeriCorps funds that were wasted or misspent and “it appears he has been doing a good job.”
Messages left for Walpin seeking comment were not immediately returned.
The IG found that Johnson, a former all-star point guard for the Phoenix Suns, had used AmeriCorps grants to pay volunteers to engage in school-board political activities, run personal errands for Johnson and even wash his car.
In August 2008, Walpin referred the matter to the local U.S. attorney’s office, which said the IG’s conclusions seemed overstated and did not accurately reflect all the information gathered in the investigation.
“We also highlighted numerous questions and further investigation they needed to conduct, including the fact that they had not done an audit to establish how much AmeriCorps money was actually misspent,” Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown said in an April 29 letter to the federal counsel of inspectors general.
Walpin’s office made repeated public comments just before the Sacramento mayoral election, prompting the U.S. attorney’s office to inform the media that it did not intend to file any criminal charges.
The U.S. attorney’s office reached a settlement in the matter. Brown cited press accounts that said Johnson and the nonprofit would repay half of nearly $850,000 in grants it received.
Kevin Hiestand, chairman of the board of St. HOPE Academy, said in a statement it was “about time” Walpin was removed. “Mr. Walpin’s allegations were meritless and clearly motivated by matters beyond an honest assessment of our program.”
Ken Bach, who works in the inspector general’s office at the corporation, will be acting inspector general until Obama appoints someone to the position.
Walpin, a New York attorney, was appointed by then-President George W. Bush and sworn into office in January 2007 after being confirmed by the Senate, according to a news release on AmeriCorps’ Web site. Walpin graduated from College of the City of New York in 1952 and received a law degree in 1955 from Yale Law School. He was a partner with the New York City law firm Katten Muchin and Rosenman LLP for more than 40 years.
Alan Solomont, a Democrat and the board chairman of the government-run corporation, and Stephen Goldsmith, a Republican and the board’s vice chair, said they strongly endorsed Obama’s decision.
On Wednesday night, after the White House counsel’s office called AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin on his cell phone to tell him he had one hour to resign or be fired, Walpin sent an extensive e-mail account of the call to the man who had phoned him, Norman Eisen, the Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform. In the e-mail, Walpin explained that he would not make a decision in such a short period of time. He also noted that Eisen had said any appearance of a connection between Walpin’s firing and recent conflicts over Walpin’s handing of high-profile investigations was “coincidence.” Here is the whole e-mail, sent from Walpin to Eisen at 7:32 p.m. on June 10:
“My email responds to your telephone call to me while I was in a car driving on a highway, at about 5:20 p.m. I have now reached a destination and therefore can write you this email.
In your telephone call, you informed me that the President wishes me to resign my post as IG of CNCS [Corporation for National and Community Service, which includes AmeriCorps]. You told me that I could take no more than an hour to make a decision.
As you know, 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.
I take this statutorily-mandated independence of my office very seriously, and, under the present circumstances, 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. As you are aware, I have just issued two reports highly critical of the actions of CNCS, which is presently under the direction of the President’s appointee and, I am advised, someone with a meaningful relationship with the President.
Chairman Solomont and I have had significant disagreements about the findings and conclusions contained in these reports. It would do a disservice to the independent scheme that Congress has mandated–and could potentially raise questions about my own integrity–if I were to render what would seem to many a very hasty response to your request.
I heard your statement that this request that you communicated on behalf of the President and the timing of our reports and disagreement with the CNCS Board and management are “coincidence,” as you put it on the phone, but I would suggest there is a high likelihood that others may see it otherwise.
I suspect that, when presented with the circumstances I have just discussed, the President will see the propriety of providing me additional time to reflect on his request. If however he believes that my departure is a matter of urgency, then he will have to take the appropriate steps toward ordering my removal, without my agreement.”