Saturday, June 13, 2009

Developing story, or nothing at all....? Obama v. Walpin

From the Associated Press comes a somewhat curious tale of a GOP appointed Inspector General (Gerald Walpin/Corporation for National and Community Service) fired by Obama ostensibly for the manner and quality of an investigation Walpin conducted into the finances of an education non-profit headed up by Obama supporter, Sacramento Kali-FOR-Knee-ah mayor Kevin Johnson.

This firing smells highly political. Presumably the Corporation for National and Community Service would have a major role in monitoring the spending of tax-payer funds to be given Obama's favorite community service crew, ACORN. I can see why Obama would be deeply reticent to have a diligent GOP appointed I.G. monitoring ACORN's activities going forward; then again, maybe there is merit to the firing.... Time will tell.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin discusses this story in great depth here

Ousted AmeriCorps watchdog defends waste probe
June 12, 2009 8:39 PM EDT

WASHINGTON - An inspector general fired by President Barack Obama said Friday he acted "with the highest integrity" in investigating AmeriCorps and other government-funded national service programs. Gerald Walpin said in an interview with The Associated Press that he reported facts and conclusions "in an honest and full way" while serving as inspector general at the Corporation for National and Community Service.

In a letter to Congress on Thursday, Obama said he had lost confidence in Walpin and was removing him from the position.

Walpin defended his work on Friday. "I know that I and my office acted with the highest integrity as an independent inspector general should act," he said.

Obama's move follows an investigation by Walpin finding misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group led by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is an Obama supporter and former NBA basketball star. Johnson and a nonprofit education academy he founded ultimately agree to repay half of $847,000 in grants it had received from AmeriCorps.

Walpin was criticized by the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento for the way he handled the investigation of Johnson and St. HOPE Academy.

"It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general," Obama said in the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., 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 late Thursday to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, cited the U.S. attorney's criticism of Walpin to an integrity committee for inspectors general.

For the balance of this Article, go here

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