Tuesday, June 16, 2009

President Obama fires Walpin AmeriCorps Official for doing his job.

Former AmeriCorps Official Says Obama Removed Him for 'Doing My Job' - Political News - FOXNews.com

An official responsible for monitoring how federal funds for volunteerism are spent told FOX News he was fired by President Obama for doing his job, and suggested it was payback for investigating the alleged misuse of grant money by the Sacramento mayor, an Obama backer.

Gerald Walpin, who until last week was the chief internal watchdog for AmericCorps and other service programs, suggested "political pressure" was behind his ouster. He said he worried the action will have a "chilling effect" on other inspectors general.
Obama gave little explanation for the decision, writing in a letter sent Thursday that he no longer had the "fullest confidence" in Walpin.

Gerald Walpin AmericCorps official.

Walpin learned his fate while driving to an event in upstate New York when he received a call from Norman Eisen, the Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform.  "He said, 'Mr. Walpin, the president wants me to tell you that he really appreciates your service, but it's time to move on,'" Walpin recalls.  "Eisen said, 'You can either resign, or I'll tell you that we'll have to terminate you.'"

Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said "the immediate effective termination of Mr. Walpin and the vague explanation offered by the President as the reason for his decision" do not meet the standards required by the law covering inspectors general. The Walpin firing, Issa continues, raises the "same concerns" as those surrounding President Bush's decision to fire several U.S. attorneys.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill has become the first Democrat to question the White House over the firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin.  McCaskill, who, like Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, is a champion of inspectors general, co-wrote the 2008 legislation requiring the president to give 30 days' notice, and cause, before firing an inspector general.

In dismissing Walpin, the president seemed to trample on the law -- a law he himself had co-sponsored as a senator -- that protects inspectors general from political influence and retribution. In addition, it appears that at least part of the reason Walpin was fired was for the tenacity he showed in investigating misuse of AmeriCorps money by a friend and supporter of the president, Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California. Walpin got the goods -- evidence of Johnson's serious misuse of federal dollars -- and the inspector general ended up getting fired for his troubles.

Can Republicans in Congress get to the bottom of President Obama's sudden -- and suspicious -- decision to fire AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin? The answer is no -- unless some. Democrats show interest in what could possibly be the first scandal, or at least mini-scandal, of the Obama administration.

In 1993, just after Bill Clinton was elected and Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, a lone Republican congressman, Rep. Bill Clinger, wanted to investigate the suspicious firings of the White House Travel Office staff.
But majority Democrats had no inclination to pursue the matter. Clinger tried and tried, wrote letter after letter, and jumped up and down, but he didn't begin to get results until after November 1994, when Republicans took control of both Houses of Congress.
When it comes to investigating allegations of wrongdoing, Republicans today are right back where they were in 1993.
So the question is will President Obama going to get away with breaking the law? Not if we the people speak up.

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Obama Fires Inspector General for doing his Job - IG Gerald Walpin interviewed by Glenn Beck

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