"OIG has a responsibility to report both to the Secretary and to the Congress program and management problems and recommendations to correct them. OIG's duties are carried out through a nationwide network of audits, investigations, evaluations and other mission-related functions performed by OIG components." One of the responsibilities of the OIG is fraud prevention and detection. SOURCE
Ever hear of Henry II? His supposed lament: "Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?" Led by a loyal Knight to bury his sword in Thomas Beckett's head, thus conveniently removing the Archbishop of Canterbury as a thorn in the side of the English king. A scene reminiscent of the infamous martyrdom occurred in the White House late last week, as one of President Obama's senior aids gave the Americorps Inspector-General an offer he could not refuse - resign within an hour or be fired.
The IG in question, Gerald Walpin, refused to go quietly despite threats from the assailant, Norman Eisen, special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform. Mr. Walpin was investigating the mismanagement of $850,000 (that's almost $1 million) Americorps grants to St. Hope, a a non-profit founded by Sacramento Mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson. Walpin found that Johnson used Americorps funds for personal and political benefit. Did I mention that Kevin Johnson is a high-profile Obama political supporter and a friend of First Lady Michelle Obama?
With that said, a couple of years ago a law was passed to protect IGs from political retaliation. This is to prevent presidential politics from interfering with the independence and integrity of IGs, whose sole job is to ferret out waste, fraud and corruption in federal spending. Walpin was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by Congress in 2007. The law required the president to give Congress 30-day notice of his intent to remove an IG and detailed justification for the removal. What's interesting about this legislation is that it was co-sponsored by Sen. Barack Obama. SOURCE
Hmmm, so basically, President Obama fired an IG outside what the law says (that he co-sponsored), because Gerald Walpin was a thorn in his side for investigating and proving that one of his high profile supporters is guilty of fraud.
Interestingly enough, Johnson wasn't charged, but half the grant money was returned under an agreement with the government. The key issue now is whether Congress will permit this latest illustration of what The Examiner’s Michael Barone calls Obama’s “gangster government.”
- Gerald Walpin speaks: The inside story of the AmeriCorps firing
- What's being Obama's sudden attempt to fire the AmeriCorps inspector general?