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White House Explains Firing of AmeriCorps IG

By Ed O'Keefe

The inspector general fired last week by President Obama appeared confused, disoriented and unable to answer questions at a late May board meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service, according to a White House letter (pdf) delivered to lawmakers last night.

The letter came in response to several inquiries by lawmakers concerned about the president’s dismissal of Gerald Walpin, who was appointed in 2007 by President George W. Bush to serve as watchdog at the agency that operates the AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs.

Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), a loyal supporter and friend of the president, said Obama had "failed to follow the proper procedure" in providing 30 days' notice to Congress before removing an inspector general and had not provided adequate reasons for the dismissal.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and other lawmakers also demanded that the Corporation provide all information related to Walpin’s dismissal in an effort to determine whether officials said anything about Walpin to White House staffers in an attempt to get him fired.

In response, Walpin said Tuesday night that “This is nonsense to rely on a supposed single meeting which makes no sense whatsoever and is just grasping at straws.”

The letter recounted the fallout from Walpin’s 2008 investigation of Sacramento-based St. HOPE Academy, founded by Sacramento Mayor and former NBA basketball star Kevin Johnson. Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown, also appointed by Bush, settled the matter with Johnson and later filed a complaint with an inspector general ethics panel, alleging Walpin withheld key information and interfered in his investigation by speaking with the news media. The panel is expected to rule later this week on the matter.

“We further learned that Mr. Walpin had been absent from the Corporation’s headquarters, insisting upon working from his home in New York over the objections of the Corporation’s board,” the letter states.

In an interview earlier this week, Walpin recounted that he informed the Bush administration in early January of his intent to resign on Inauguration Day as a courtesy to President Obama. After less than two years on the job and 52 years of marriage, Walpin had tired of the commute from his home in New York. After informing his staff about his impending departure, some staffers convinced him to stay with the Corporation and telework a few days each week from New York.

The White House letter also states that Walpin “engaged in other troubling and inappropriate conduct” and said he became “unduly disruptive to agency operations, impairing his effectiveness and, for reasons stated above, losing the confidence of the Board and the agency.”

“All I can say is yes, there was a meeting where we had great disputes and the chairman of the board kept cutting me off on my presentation,” Walpin said of Alan Solomont, the Corporation’s board chairman, who was recently appointed U.S. ambassador to Spain.

“There was no confusion whatsoever about the meaning of my reports,” Walpin said last night. “Indeed right now, I would think that the only one confused is the White House, which really doesn’t seem to understand the meaning and the need to protect the independence of IGs.”

Walpin then took his comments a step further.

“If any mistakes or confusion in statements means that someone is unable to act in the position, well then President Obama once said there were 57 states. Does that mean he’s incompetent? No. Or when Vice President Biden has made his various misstatements does that mean he’s incompetent? Of course not.”

The White House sent the letter to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the chairman and ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. A copy was also sent to McCaskill. None of the lawmakers were available for immediate comment.

By Ed O'Keefe  | June 16, 2009; 11:02 PM ET
Categories:  Oversight  
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Comments

Its just a brother taking care of a brother. No big deal.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | June 16, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

That's the main problem these days, "a brother takes care of a brother," and they forget about the whitey. It's like the Congressionaal Black Caucus (CBC) who have filed a complaint that not enough "brothers" are on the Sunday News shows. Look at the makeup of the Messiah's White House staff and you will note that it is 60% partisan. The whole Administration is a fraud.

Posted by: Raylene | June 16, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

'Bush watchdog'? That's a contradiction in terms. Good riddance to him.

Posted by: hairguy01 | June 16, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

It's unbelievable that the print edition continues to ignore this story.

Posted by: tomtildrum | June 16, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I've been a Liberal Democrat
and Diversity Supporter for a long
time, but this guy was just doing
his job. The suspect is Black and
a friend of The President. Get it?

Posted by: iamredwolf | June 16, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Walpin was a hardcore Republican loyalist and political hatchetman in the Karl Rove style. Remember when Rove and Gonzales tried to, and did, politicize the Justice Dept., demanding that U.S. Attorneys publicly announce investigations into Democrats right before elections, and when some balked, Rove sought to get them fired?

Walpin was Rove's kind of guy. The guidelines for Walpin's job specifically prohibit releasing anything to the press. Walpin waited until right before the mayoral election and improperly held a press conference to not only announce he was beginning an investigation, but also claiming criminal conduct and corruption, even before he had the facts. He was attempting to torpedo the election.

This organization (St. Hope)is a community outreach program. It conducts student tutoring and stuff. It is generally thought to have done good work - but it is not as sophisticated as it could have been and it made some mistakes. The question of whether the accounting errors rose to the level of criminal conduct or were sloppy bookeeping was not Walpin's decision to make. And the amount of money involved was not really big - in context.

Bush out and out LOST $12 BILLION in CASH in the first two months of the Iraq war. Bush literally sent crates and crates of cash, shrink wrapped in plastic, to Iraq - and $12 BILLION of it just disappeared.

This St. Hope group has already returned $415 thousand that was supposedly mishandled.

The problem with Walpin has never been whether he should have looked into the organization, but the improper WAY he did it - not to mention his insubordination to his bosses.

Good Riddance - he's another vestige of what I hope will soon be a bygone era - The overly partsan, overly political, Bush Era.

Posted by: Speaktruth | June 17, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

It's unbelievable that the print edition continues to ignore this story.

Posted by: tomtildrum | June 16, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse

*************************************************

Not really. This is, after all, The Washington Post, which is no doubt loath to to air any kind of story that's unflattering to their Anointed One.

Posted by: stratman1 | June 17, 2009 12:58 AM | Report abuse

I read the story in the Wall Street Journal about this, and it sounded like corruption, but from this article it seems completely above board. I'm guessing the truth lies somwhere in the middle. But both papers did an excellent spin.

Posted by: mckphx | June 17, 2009 5:31 AM | Report abuse

how different is this from President Bush firing a few ADA's from the justice department???...
Answer no different, and if obama thinks that was wrong he should recognise that what he did was just as wrong but also illegal...

Posted by: DwightCollins | June 17, 2009 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I've seen Walpin on several interviews and he was quite lucid.

Is it simply coincidence that Walpin uncovered corruption by an Obama buddy and then, in a letter dated YESTERDAY, his "confusion" becomes an issue?

Mr. Walpin was fired a week ago. The act passed last year by Congress states that the President must give just cause and THIRTY days notice before firing a IG. Again, the letter that was supposed to be the linchpin for the firing was dated yesterday.

There is much more here than is being reported but I would not count on the Washington Post to dig too deeply for any truth. It's glory days are but a distant memory. One can only hope that history will judge their complicity quite harshly.

Posted by: snowy2 | June 17, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Mistake number one; follow the rules. All the administration had to do was notify congress of its intent to fire Walpin and wait 30 days. Mistake number 20; Walpin offered his resignation and it was not accepted, so much for the Karl Rove hatchet man credo. The administration could have been rid of him on January 20th. Mistake number 3; criticize him for teleworking when the Federal Government is looking for ways to allow more people to telework.

Posted by: cpnorton1 | June 17, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

"It's unbelievable that the print edition continues to ignore this story.
Posted by: tomtildrum | June 16, 2009 11:40 PM | Report abuse"

most seniors don't go online to read the news...
by posting it here there is no cry of not covering the story and by posting it online and not in print, they make sure seniors don't get bad news about obama or congress...

Posted by: DwightCollins | June 17, 2009 6:56 AM | Report abuse

The inspector general fired last week by President Obama appeared confused, disoriented and unable to answer questions at a late May board meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service

If the above is true, which is very doubtful, it seems to indicate a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) and he needed immediate medical attention. Not to be fired from the job. But of course this is Obama.

Posted by: EZ2C | June 17, 2009 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Pretty reckless when the Administration fires an IG without falling proper procedures. Congress needs to appoint a Special Investigator on this matter.

Look like a political firing by Obama.

Are the Dems going to investigate this matter like they did with Gonzales?

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | June 17, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Will the Washington Post please deploy its investigative reporting skills to learn more about what Walpin and his staff found, who complained, and how this administration arrived at the decision to fire him so abruptly? Also of interest: will this incident have a chilling effect on investigations by other inspectors general?

Posted by: VirginiaIndependent | June 17, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, but I do not believe this story. Why is this administration constantly lying to the American people. When do you think the American people will have had enough. Why is this Obama not being questioned about anything. Again, this story is hard to believe.

Posted by: SouthernCross2 | June 17, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

The left was so up in arms when Bush fired a few attorneys, who, by the way, serve at the president's discretion and pleasure. Now, also seemingly for political reasons (whatever the official explanation is), Obama fires an inspector general who just blew the whistle on serious improprieties at an organization receiving thousands in AmeriCorps dollars, and the left is silent.

Kevin Johnson is, by the way, a prominent Obama supporter.

The left's willingness to ignore this story suggests to me that the flap over the fired attorney's was not really about justice or limits on presidential power or anything else. Just as the firings were political, so was the partisan outrage from Democrats. Now their own president does the exact same thing, and the outrage is nowhere to be found.

Posted by: blert | June 17, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

The story is true. Lots of people at CNCS know about this incident, so I'm surprised it took this long to get out.

Posted by: noethe | June 17, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

E-mail records enable investigators like Grassley to dig deeper and quicker into a controversy than they could have a few years ago. http://legal-beagle.typepad.com/wrights_legal_beagle/2009/01/computer-records-in-academic-researchgrant-internal-investigations.html --Ben

Posted by: benjaminwright | June 17, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Amazing that this story is a big deal to the GOP, yet they didnt want to investigate what broke down in the federal government that led to the September 11th attacks. They didnt want to investigate the contractors overbilling the US in Iraq. They didnt want to investigate who outed an undercover CIA agent, nor did they want to investigate who was at Cheney's secret energy meeting. All these topics impact our daily lives. This story does not..........

Posted by: rharring | June 17, 2009 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Speaktruth, your post is the biggest joke I've read on this issue. You are basically just taking these cursory analyses of the situation, and then throwing some sort of "yay Obama!" spin on them. Read these if you want more information on what happened, from the OIG office itself:

http://www.cncsig.gov/StHopeSR.html

Here is Waplin's response to Brown, in regards to releasing information:

http://media.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/pcie_response.pdf

At no point did Walpin release information that wasn't already known. When he did issue a press release on what was going on, it was to clarify information that the Sacramento Bee was already reporting on. At no point did they hold back information from the Attorney General's office either. The White House is just trying to get rid of some guy who is exposing fraud in the federal government, fraud that Obama would have had nothing to do with, since it all occurred before he was in office. But instead, Obama is trying to get rid of this guy, without following the proper channels, so everyone should be outraged at this presidential abuse of power.

Posted by: GuyP | June 17, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Confused and disoriented...hmmm...Biden could be on thin ice...oh that's right he will talk on any subject...Hey Joe...a tunnel with railroad tracks is meant for trains ..not for cars..good thing you are watching over the stimulus money that will keep our unemployment under 8%...whoops guessed wrong on that one too...

Posted by: bz11 | June 17, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Walpin withheld information from an investigation and further interfered by speaking out of turn to the media. That's not good in any prosecution. Do you all remember when DOJ got in hot water for doing it to the Senator from Alaska? If the entire board thinks he should go, then he can't function in his job. And how can he be the top guy on the West coast if he refuses to leave the East coast? The guy needed to go. It may be that congress should have gotten their 30 days, but the guy needed to go. As far as Obama saving his friends from their own behavior, I think that he's proven that he won't. He hasn't stood up for anyone who misbehaved on his watch. Cut the racial stuff. Some of the people in this country are black and so is Obama. It doesn't follow that he makes exceptions for them. He hasn't done that even once.

Posted by: karela | June 17, 2009 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Typically, I feel I am able to get the true gist of a situation from Washington Post articles. But not this one. Seems like there are some holes in the story. What specifically did Walpin do in a meeting that was so eggregious it caused a need for immediate termination? What is the relevance of him being married for 52 years? Is the implication that the man is old and senile? I don't get this article. I think it needs a follow up.

Posted by: snk1955 | June 17, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

having suffered something similar in County gvt, i have learned that doing your job well actually means looking the other way when dealing with "connected" people. just like with the mafia!

Posted by: jrzshor | June 17, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Karela, have you read anything on this issue? Have you read any of the reports that Mr. Walpin released? You have no idea what you are talking about. Gerald Walpin was the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service. He was not "the top guy on the West coast", he was the top guy for the country. In addition, do you think he does all the work himself? He had two special agents working under him, performing the investigation into St. HOPE. In addition, if you actual read anything, you would see that the OIG regularly updates their website as to what investigations they are performing. This is part of the whole "transparency" initiative, and all the OIG offices do this. The investigation into St. HOPE was completed when this information was release, and any press release from the OIG was used to clarify any information that reporters (from the Sacramento Bee) were already discussing.

Maybe you should do some research on this issue before you immediately side with the Administration.

Posted by: GuyP | June 17, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON – It may be the issue few in the media dare address, but a new scientific public opinion survey of a cross-section of Americans shows they are not only aware of questions about Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility for office, but almost half are either "troubled" by the questions or believe he should release all relevant documents including his long-form birth certificate.

Asked if they are aware of the questions raised about Obama's constitutional eligibility for office, 51.3 percent answered affirmatively, while only 18.7 percent said no. Another 30 percent said they were unsure.

"Our polling shows that the questions surrounding Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president clearly strike a nerve across America, probably because it is a problem that everybody understands," said pollster Fritz Wenzel. "Every American citizen has a birth certificate, and once in a while we all have to produce them to get a drivers license or gain entrance to school. Everyone understands the simple rules – if you don't produce it, you don't get in. And while Obama did get in to the White House, nearly half the country's adults – 49 percent – are troubled by this issue and still want him to produce his official long-form birth certificate."

Posted by: FraudObama | June 17, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

GuyP,
This firing incident caught my eye right from the beginning. There are professional reasons for my interest, based on my background, but let's just say that I've read/thought about this WAY more than I should have, from a "time spent" standpoint. It's a fascinating case on several levels.

I'm glad you confronted Speaktruth's post. Thank you. I did too, in even more detail, but it hasn't shown up here. Maybe it was too lengthy? It was not abusive in any way, that's for sure.

Here are a couple of things I learned about Walpin, which go completely counter to the knee-jerk reaction that he must be a hatchet man. He prosecuted Roy Cohn, Joe McCarthy's henchman -- and is portrayed in a 1992 TV movie about that ("Citizen Cohn"). He nailed some of the Watergate schmucks in the Nixon era. He's in a photo with Justices Ginsburg and Stevens, receiving recognition from the Inn of Courts, a real honor, for his exemplary professionalism in the legal field. Elsewhere there are comments about his obvious commitment to the mentoring of young lawyers, as he was mentored by the Judge with whom he clerked out of law school. And so on.

He came from "nothing" (father had no education) and put himself through Yale Law, cum laude -- Yale Law Review. Someone says above that 52 years of marriage means nothing, but as a 4th-decade one-spouse guy myself, I know one doesn't get there without some perspective about what's important, worth committing to and sacrificing for, and what it takes to work through problems and issues.

For all I know, but it doesn't LOOK that way, maybe he has turned in a crotchety old kook. I wouldn't bet on that, and if I were going into court or into a debate, I'd want him on MY side, not as the opponent. And, "so what?" if he is? I like a little of that in an IG. He's an IG who doesn't NEED the job, which is a supreme qualification, no? He was resigning after the election until staff members (allegedly, anyway) convinced him to stay on and work more days out of his home.

Posted by: TerryOtt | June 17, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

This was purely political. Obama has broken every promise so far and this is one more.

You'll see more people fired in the coming years that have political views that are different from the administation, including Justic lawyers.

I thought it would take him longer to start firing career people who are identified as Republican, but he's got right to it.

Posted by: joe_g | June 17, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

OH, BTW, when Clinton took office he fired EVERY, I mean EVERY Republican U.S. attorney. Where was the outrage then?

Posted by: joe_g | June 17, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Washington Post has failed in reporting on this story. To perpetrate the smear of a highly regarded public official is UnAmerican and unethical. When Americorps was exposed for cheating the taxpayer, of course they wanted to discredit Walpin. This makes Watergate look like a traffic ticket. The Washington Post is being exposed as a propaganda arm of the Obama Administration.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | June 17, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

So the Dems are just as corrupt as the Repugs? Quelle surprise!

Posted by: millionea7 | June 17, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans are so desperate for anything to latch onto that they are trying to make this nonstory into Watergate. I'm sure all these Republicans are also on record calling for the abolishment of Americorps because they think it is just a do-gooder liberal group. Now they are acting like they are Americorps greatest defender.

Posted by: buffysummers | June 17, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

well, at least Washington Post has something. The NYTimes has nothing on its website. The Wall Street Journal has an editorial.

Posted by: vivek1 | June 17, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Unless I am mistaken, we is currently under a 30 day suspecsion pending the firing. The call he received was the WH announcing their intentions, so it is possible they were following the law (Congress can assess that.) My guess is the WH wanted him to go quietly and kept its rationale for firing vague to avoid muck dragging. Walpin resisted and now it gets ugly.

Posted by: Nichevo | June 17, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Obamagate. It was just not the malfeasance of Mayor Johnson, from Sacramento in regards to the misused funds of 800K. Seems his staff benefited along with many car washes, etc..and oh - for money that was intended for minority education.

The bigger story is the misuse of 80 million under the same flag at CUNY..where Alan Solomont was engaged . Seems like Walpin was putting a kink in all the partying and misuse of funds.

What does Johnson and Solomont have in common - big time fund raisers for Obama... conveniently left out of the story. And the biggest laugh....The law requiring a president to notify congress 30 days before the firing and to document the specific reasons....was co-signed by none other then - yep - you guessed BO.

The reason given why - he had mixed up some facts at a meeting and BO lost confidence. This coming from a president who thinks we have 57 states...and a VP who is a blithering idiot.

So much for transparency and Change You Can Believe IN...More of the same..but worse.

Posted by: short1 | June 17, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

buffysummers, you obviously don't get it. If Republicans are on record as calling for the abolishment of Americorps, this story obviously indicates why. Walpin has uncovered at least two instances of fraud relating to AmeriCorps, and how does the administration repay him? They fire him. If Republicans want to abolish AmeriCorps, it's so that this potential abuse cannot happen.

Posted by: GuyP | June 17, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

This St. Hope group has already returned $415 thousand that was supposedly mishandled.

The problem with Walpin has never been whether he should have looked into the organization, but the improper WAY he did it - not to mention his insubordination to his bosses.

===================

The above comment was posted as part of poster Speaktruth earlier today...now there's an oxymoron.

He claims that 415K had alreay been returned...as if it where a matter of fact and that made it OK....hey buddy - they were ripping off the organization....and if they retuned 415K...that represents 50% of the apprx 800K grant them were given. Now I ask you - for every Govt dollar spent - there was 50% fraud...can you imagine the savings. The other pt you missed..the bigger fish was CUNY..thats when the heat got really turned up - that grant was 80 million. Now "speaktruth" - apply the math if that was also 50% fraud.

It was a political hanging for both Johnson and Solomont are big time fund raisers for BO...Please ...Speaktruth...speakslies.

Posted by: short1 | June 17, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't this front page news at the WP? Where are today's Woodward and Bernstein? On its face it appears that BHO broke several laws not to mention his effort to help a crony and punish the IG. The IG has been all over TV answering questions and I could only hope that BHO and the WP editors were as sharp. Our Secretary of The Treasury couldn't figure out Turbo Tax and Larry Sommers apparently sleeps through a lot of WH meetings.

Where is the dogged reporting and outraged editorials?

Ooops! I forgot. Liberal = Hypocritical. BHO must be propped up at all costs.

Posted by: JoeDBrown | June 17, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse


The smells really bad.

An Inspector General gets canned because he had the audacity to confront the corruption of one of Obama's buds.

But it's ok he should be canned, in this "new era of acountability"....

NO ONE should be able to actually do his or her job if it makes the prez or his cronies look bad.

Posted by: chicago77 | June 17, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

This is a prime example of ' putting lipstick on a pig " .
His legal dept. can write all the fancy letters they want to, the fact that Walpin was fired AFTER he stepped on Johnson's toes, suspending him from access to further govt. funds, plus not giving Congress the 30 day advance notice of his impending firing, plus reasons , means Obama's administration broke the very rules of law he helped get passed last year.
This stinks to high heavens, just like secured investors at the car companies taking a back-seat to unions in the ' structured bankruptcies'. This administration structured the bankruptcy deals, placing unions ahead unfairly. Now they're canning this guy because he might prevent Johnson from getting more taxpayer $$'s to play with and spend as he sees fit.
No way was this justified.

Posted by: rannan3 | June 17, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Walpingate.

Kevin Johnson has only paid back $77,000 because no one knows where the money went. Isn't it obvious that is why the Americorps executive wanted Walpin fired? They don't know where the money is. Johnson was supposed to pay back half of what he stole, and he has only paid back 10% of his theft and now he claims there is no money left.

And the Washington Post calls the hero who blew the whistle disoriented. It think crazed and disoriented describes all Washington Post writers.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | June 17, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

You can put lipstick on a Washington Post reporter, but he is...

well, he'll kiss his Obama poster.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | June 17, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I want to know so much more than we have heard so far.

I want to know about the other instances of problematic behavior, in addition to the meeting, in more detail. What did he do that was disruptive? His letter with its cheap, highly politicized shots against Obama and Biden certainly suggests a nasty personality and a lack of professionalism. But in fairness to him, similar behavior on the job should be shared with us, if it happened.

I want to know, as we all do, what happened at the meeting where he seemed out of it. Is there a transcript? Better yet, a video? Even if those are not available, what do the various attendees (of both parties) remember and what will they be willing to tell us about what happened?

I also await the result of the separate ethics complaint filed against Walpin (and per this article that will be coming within the week).

And I want to know if this had any effect on the case in question. It sounds like this did not take the heat off the supposed Obama friend and that the case was completed anyway.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | June 17, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post, the New York Times, ABC, NBC and CBS are all planning hard hitting investigative reports on this story on the 12th of NEVER.

Obama is a Democrat. Journalistic watchdogs only bark when Republicans are in office.

But look for another special on Michelle Obama's toned arms and arugula gardens on NBC!!!

And they wonder why their ratings and circulation are plummeting.

Posted by: RaiderDan | June 17, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Come on....whether you are a Democrat or Republican we all know how the Chicago Way works. Walpin was exposing corruption and the White House fired him so the corruption can continue. That's all there is to it!

Posted by: valwayne | June 17, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

It is not politics. It is political corruption. Obama is now part of the club.

Posted by: hz9604 | June 17, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: rharring | June 17, 2009 9:49 AM

Amazing that this story is a big deal to the GOP, yet they didnt want to investigate what broke down in the federal government that led to the September 11th attacks.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If I am reading this right you are blaming America for the 911 attacks??? You are doing the same thing King Obama did. Do you care to apologize to the world like he did for thousands of Americans being killed by terrorists as well??

You need to stick your head back in the sand.

Posted by: rosecoloredglasses1 | June 17, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"This St. Hope group has already returned $415 thousand that was supposedly mishandled"

Hey, Speaktruth, that's not true. The St. Hope Group has AGREED to pay back 1/2 of the money that was mishandled, but the agreement specifies that St. Hope will pay the money back. St. Hope is insolvent and will most likely NOT pay the money back. It's nothing but a scam settlement. Johnson doesn't have to pay back anything.

Walpin pressed hard to prosecute Johnson for defrauding the government. Johnson's settlement allows him to manage federal funds again, which Walpin objected to. And now Obama says Walpin is senile. Right.

Posted by: mbs235 | June 17, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Americorps is nothing but a slush fund for Obama supporters, of course they don’t want anyone looking at it. Poor Mr. Walpin better get ready to have his entire life gone over with a microscope, looking for anything to discredit him. If he stole a pencil in 1965, it will be the lead story on Jon Stewart and Keith Olbermann.

Posted by: mbs235 | June 17, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Smearing old men is what the Washington Post does real well. I bet they understand the working of Iran's state-run media -- parroting the powerful dictator's press release.

This is what the Soviet Union did to dissidents -- told everyone they were crazy. Like anyone else who dares questions the leader (we know the White House press corp never does -- they are too busy laughing at Robert Gibbs jokes) you are destroyed if you dare speak out.

If we ever saw a clip of Obama without his teleprompter I am sure he is labeled confused. Mr. Walpin is hero. He is being smeared by the state-run media.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | June 17, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

He was a Bush political appointee - appointed in 2007. Pres. Obama has the right to get rid of all the political appointees just as Bush got rid of the Clinton appointees at the Corporations. Nothing unusual. Conservatives can try to pretend he was done wrong but that's how the cookie crumbles.

Posted by: rlj1 | June 17, 2009 6:09 PM | Report abuse

If looking dazed and confused is grounds for firing, then Biden and Geithner better get their resumes ready.

Posted by: BMUN | June 17, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

WOW. So many posters making statements with so much misinformation. Inspector Generals do not work at the discretion of the President as US Attorneys do. There jog requires they look over moneys spent and cut waste, It's a gov job--not a political appointment the new administration should be allowed to fire. They are non partisan and are protected by law--entirely different from US Attorneys. Laws to protect them from exactly what Obama has done require a valid reason and 30 day notice be given to Congress. An Obama supporter used taxpayers funds for personal use rather than what Americorps awarded the funds to St Hope to do with them.

It is fact some of the taxpayer moneys were used to influence local school board elections. Some of our tax dollars went to wash Kevin Johnson's cars and increase St. Hope staff salaries. AGAIN--not what they were intended for.

The proven misuse and fraud--this isn't an accounting error--it is blatant misuse of taxpayor funds for personal gain and not for the children's programs the moneys were awarded to fund. The fact that the fraud was proven and St Hope and Kevin Johnson were put on a list preventing them from receiving taxpayor funds again became a HUGE issue when Johnson was elected Mayor of Sacremento--making the city ineligible for all the Obama wasteful spending. That's the issue entirely. Obama has a crooked supporter stealing taxpayer funds who got his hand caught in the mousetrap so Obama will resort to character assassination to help out his pal and donor and cover his crooked ass.

Posted by: dianetate | June 17, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

1) Where is the outrage? Here you have, in essence, a whistleblower who is blowing the whistle on an Obama supporter who was fraudulently and wastefully spending OUR taxpayer money... and he is FIRED by Obama. Fired for doing his job of pointing out corruption. Fired by the president. For uncovering and aggressively (too much so it seems) pursuing political supporters of the president.

2) He is an INSPECTOR GENERAL... They are not subject to political whimsy. Or shouldn't be.

3) About the ONLY legislative accomplishment that one can point to that good ol' BHO had anything to do with in his 4 years in the Senate was his co-sponsoring the bill that became law that REQUIRES notification of Congress (with explanation/reasons/cause) of the intent to fire an IG... How ironic...

4) It's very interesting to see how uninterested the MSM is these days in corruption. If you are intellectually honest you cannot say that if it were GWB who had done this that the media would be sitting on the sidelines with this one to the extent they are.

You literally could not make this stuff up.

Posted by: carocanesfan | June 17, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Meant to add to number 3 above that the law required 30 days notice.

Obama "co-sponsored" the law that he has completely disregarded. It means he either: 1)didn't read the bill he co-sponsored so didn't know it's provisions or 2) figured he could get away with it so did it anyway, or I guess (in fairness) he got bad legal advice from his lawyers saying it would be ok (and that they gave him incorrect advice ---> but that still doesn't negate #1 -- he DID cosponsor the bill afterall).

Hey, maybe Walpin can sue Greg Craig for OK'ing the incorrect termination, since he's WH counsel!!

Posted by: carocanesfan | June 17, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes the president should have waited the 30 days and I blame his staff for not knowing that regulation.

But put this in perspective - it's one guy. One "bush watchdog" that has been told to stay home. Big deal.

The black helicopter crowd's messiah Glen Beck was punding on his desk and yelling today "why aren't you in the streets? why aren't you pounding the pavement?"

All over this one old guy being let go.

Do any of you consider that cause for revolution?

There is a lot of racism in the comments above; is that the 'cause' that is really behind this outrage over this guy being let go?
And since when did "partisan" become a GOOP codeword for "black"?

Sick freaks.

Posted by: lquarton | June 18, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

President Obama did the right thing. As a retired federal employee supervisory criminal investigator with 30 years of experience with DEA, ATF, ICE, INS, and U.S. Customs I witnessed career civil service employees suspended without getting not even 24 hours notice for minimal and small infractions, errors and later on these employees were terminated. IG are sub-cabinet political appointments. A U.S. president can remove whoever he want to remove. I have followed U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's selective cases that he gets involved regarding personnel issues. It appears that Sen. Grassley tend to accomodate federal employees who are White and the alleged responsible federal manager is a minority. I asked Sen. Grassley numerous times for his assistance when I was trying to do my job as an internal affairs manager reporting criminal misconduct by a top management official who happened to be White. I am Latino. He never responded. Since we are talking about removals, may I suggest to the U.S. Congress to start looking at the way some Judicial and Administrative judges are abusing their authority. A good place to start is with the MSPB and EEOC.

Posted by: doctormiguel | June 18, 2009 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Speaktruth:

Walpin was Rove's kind of guy. The guidelines for Walpin's job specifically prohibit releasing anything to the press. Walpin waited until right before the mayoral election and improperly held a press conference to not only announce he was beginning an investigation, but also claiming criminal conduct and corruption, even before he had the facts. He was attempting to torpedo the election.

NOW SEE WHAT SHE WROTE IN HER BLOG AND SEE THE HYPOCRISY AND LIES:


I am deeply disturbed by the last eight years of the Bush administration, and feel strongly that the media has failed us in their coverage of the administration and the war

Posted by: iamwiam | June 18, 2009 4:15 AM | Report abuse

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