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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
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Obama fires watchdog who barked at his crony

Standard practice with the liberals...we had the same types of antics during the Clinton years.



Posted: June 13, 2009
7:25 pm Eastern

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily


Gerald Walpin

Former Inspector General Gerald Walpin filed two reports exposing gross misappropriation of federal AmeriCorps funds by a prominent Barack Obama supporter and was shortly thereafter fired by the White House, circumstances he told WND are likely linked and others have called an outright illegal action by the administration.

"I think you have to look at the facts and the circumstances and reach your conclusions," Walpin said in a WND interview. "I will tell you that [my firing] came only after we had issued those two reports to Congress, and I don't think that's a coincidence."

Further, Walpin said, "I am convinced that I and my office are not guilty of any impropriety. In essence, I was fired for doing my job."

Independent, federal inspectors general are supposed to be granted special protection from political interference – thanks in part to a law co-sponsored by the then-Senator Barack Obama – to ensure that they are free to investigate waste and fraud uninfluenced by political cronyism.

But after Walpin dared to push for action against the St. HOPE Academy program – run by Obama supporter and former NBA star Kevin Johnson – which had misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal AmeriCorps funds, he nonetheless found himself fired by the White House under circumstances that have led some to wonder if Obama has violated his own co-sponsored law in retaliation.

"There are two big questions about the president's actions," writes Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner. "One, why did he decide to fire Walpin? And two, did he abide by the law that he himself co-sponsored?"

Discover how government is grinding away Americans' individual liberties in "Constitutional Chaos: What Happens When the Government Breaks Its Own Laws."

Radio talk host Rush Limbaugh fired off an answer to York's questions on his program yesterday:

"Firing an inspector general is a big deal. If you'll remember, Alberto Gonzales as attorney general fired a couple of U.S. attorneys. He took hell for it. This is bigger. Inspectors general are supposed to be completely above politics," Limbaugh commented. "This is big. This is political cronyism, power and so forth. … I'm telling you, firing an I.G., because they're not political, it is a much bigger deal than replacing United States attorneys."

Furthermore, Limbaugh stated, the unusual circumstances surrounding the night before Walpin's dismissal constitutes a clear violation of the very law Obama helped to pass as a senator.

"The Obama administration did it overnight," Limbaugh stated. "[It] broke the law firing the AmeriCorps I.G."

I'm not a real dickhead...but I acted like one in high school.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 11:29 AM
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This is a perfect example how Limbaugh always spins the reality. First of all, Gonzales did not fire "a couple of attorneys". There were eight of them in fact. And why is this firing by Obama's administration bigger?

I do not know the details so I will not comment. However, we know that the eight attorneys were fired for purely political reasons.

There are improprieties and downright scandals in politics on both sides, no doubt about that.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 11:46 AM
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I don't see any problems with the work of this IG.

He identified the crimes which resulted in a half million dollar settlement case.


Quote:
With little public notice, President Obama Thursday fired the Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Gerald Walpin.

Saying he was “exercising my power as president,” Mr. Obama suspended Walpin with pay, saying his termination would be “effective 30 days from now.”

The president wrote that “it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General (Ed: not to investigate my cronies). That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector general.”

...
Walpin said in a statement at the time that his initial report "cited numerous potential criminal and grant violations, including diversion of federal grant funds, misuse of AmeriCorps members and false claims made against a taxpayer-supported Federal agency."...
AmeriCorps members performed services “personally benefiting… Johnson,” such as “driving [him] to personal appointments, washing [his] car, and running personal errands.”

...
In April of this year, the new Acting Attorney General, Lawrence Brown, settled the case, requiring St. HOPE Academy to pay $423,836.50 -- $72,836.50 of which would be paid personally by Mayor Johnson. Walpin complained that he had not been consulted on the settlement.

...
Walpin charged that the settlement “(s)ends the signal that acceptance of a grantee or its principal as 'responsible' can be purchased in a monetary settlement, overriding all evidence of wrongdoing previously found to warrant a suspension, without the presentation of any contradicting evidence."

He said arguments that the settlement is in the government's interest "is an attempt to pull the wool over the public's eyes.”
...

Grassley wrote that the Integrity Committee of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency had not produced any negative findings against Walpin, and “he has identified millions of dollars in AmeriCorps funds either wasted outright or spent in violation of established guidelines. In other words, it appears he has been doing his job.”
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpu...-general-.html

... and this important discussion continues.


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Last edited by mlfun; 06-14-2009 at 11:55 AM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 12:21 PM
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Damned liberals!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 01:19 PM
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This partisan hackery serves no one well.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
This partisan hackery serves no one well.
What's the matter?? You don't like it when it paints the libs as they really are?

I'm not a real dickhead...but I acted like one in high school.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
This partisan hackery serves no one well.
Indeed.

The IG is doing his job as evidenced by the eventual settlement.

... and this important discussion continues.


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-14-2009, 01:34 PM
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Here's the bill.

P.L. 110-409, The Improving Government Accountability Act

H.R. 928 would amend the Inspector General Act of 1978 to enhance the independence of the Inspectors General, and create a Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency.

Detailed Summary

Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 - (Sec. 2) Amends the Inspector General Act of 1978 to require Inspectors General (IGs) for designated federal entities to be appointed without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability in accounting, auditing, financial analysis, law, management analysis, public administration, or investigations.

(Sec. 3) Requires the President and the heads of designated federal entities to communicate to Congress in writing the reasons for removing or transferring an IG no later than 30 days before such removal or transfer.

(Sec. 4) Sets the pay for presidentially appointed IGs at Executive Schedule III plus 3%. Requires IGs of designated federal entities to be classified at a grade, level, or rank designation at or above those of a majority of the senior level executives of their entity. Limits the total increase in pay to such IGs for any pay adjustments made before FY2013. Prohibits: (1) the pay of such an IG from being less than the average total compensation of the senior level executives of that entity calculated on an annual basis; or (2) the pay of specified career federal employees, not including any bonus or performance award, from being reduced as a result of being appointed to the position of Inspector General.

(Sec. 5) Prohibits IGs from receiving cash awards or bonuses.

(Sec. 6) Requires each IG to: (1) appoint a Counsel to the IG; (2) obtain the services of a counsel appointed by and directly reporting to another IG on a reimbursable basis; or (3) obtain the services of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency's staff on a reimbursable basis.

(Sec. 7) Establishes within the executive branch the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency to: (1) address integrity, economy, and effectiveness issues that transcend individual government agencies; and (2) increase the professionalism and effectiveness of personnel by developing policies, standards, and approaches to aid in the establishment of a well-trained and highly skilled workforce in the IG offices. Requires the Council to: (1) continually identify, review, and discuss areas of weakness and vulnerability in federal programs and operations with respect to fraud, waste, and abuse; (2) develop plans for coordinated, government-wide activities that address these problems and promote economy and efficiency in federal programs and operations; (3) develop policies that will aid in the maintenance of a corps of well-trained and highly skilled IG office personnel; (4) maintain electronic systems for the benefit of all IGs and one or more academies for the professional training of auditors, investigators, inspectors, evaluators, and other personnel; (5) submit individuals' recommendations for any IG appointment to the appropriate authority; and (6) report to Congress.

Allows the Council's Executive Chairperson to authorize the use of interagency funding for: (1) government-wide training of IG office employees; and (2) the functions of the Integrity Committee of the Council.

Authorizes the Council to: (1) establish in the Treasury a revolving fund to be called the Inspectors General Council Fund; or (2) enter into an arrangement with a department or agency to use an existing revolving fund. Authorizes such Fund to be used to implement the Council's functions and duties and to maintain training academies.

Establishes an Integrity Committee for the Council to review and refer for investigation allegations of wrongdoing that are made against IGs and IG office staff members. Sets forth requirements concerning when an IG must refer allegations against its staff to the Committee. Requires investigations to be conducted in accordance with the most current Quality Standards for Investigations issued by the Council or its predecessors. Requires the Committee, in conjunction with the Council Chairperson, to establish additional policies and procedures necessary to ensure fairness and consistency in: (1) determining whether to initiate investigations; (2) conducting investigations; (3) reporting the results of investigations; and (4) providing people who are subjects of investigations with opportunities to respond to Committee reports.

Sets forth reporting requirements for the Committee and the Council. Requires the Council to provide detailed information about specific allegations upon request from the chairperson or ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and the congressional committees of jurisdiction.

Provides that an allegation against the Special Counsel of the Office of Special Counsel or the Deputy Special Counsel may be received, reviewed, and referred for investigation by the Committee to the same extent and in the same manner as an allegation against an IG.

Declares that: (1) this Act does not eliminate access to the Merit Systems Protection Board for review; and (2) Executive Order 12805, dated May 11, 1992, and Executive Order 12993, dated March 21, 1996, shall have no force or effect beginning on the earlier of the date on which the Council becomes operational or 180 days after this Act's enactment. Requires the Council to be operational no later than 180 days after this Act's enactment. Requires the IG to adopt policies and procedures to implement this Act that include, to the maximum extent practicable, all provisions in such orders.

(Sec. 8) Requires: (1) each IG to annually transmit a budget estimate and request to the head of the entity to which he or she reports; (2) such requests to specify the funds requested for operations, training needs, and Council support; (3) the head of each entity to include in a proposed budget to the President amounts for such purposes and its IG's comments on the proposal; and (4) the President to include in each U.S. budget submitted to Congress a statement of each IG's budget estimates, the amounts for such purposes requested by the President, and any comments of an IG who concludes that the budget submitted would substantially inhibit the IG from performing the duties of office.

(Sec. 10) Includes designated federal entities within the definition of "authority" for purposes of provisions concerning administrative remedies for false claims and statements.

(Sec. 11) Empowers IGs of designated federal entities with the same law enforcement authority provided to other IGs.

(Sec. 12) Provides for the application of semiannual reporting requirements concerning the activities of IG offices to inspection and evaluation reports.

(Sec. 13) Requires agencies to maintain on their website homepages direct links to the website of their IG office. Requires each IG to: (1) post reports and audits no later than three working days after such reports or audits are made publicly available; and (2) maintain a direct link on the office's website homepage for individuals to report waste, fraud, and abuse. Provides that reporting individuals shall not be required to provide personally identifying information. Prohibits agency IGs from disclosing the identity of any individual making a report without consent unless such a disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the investigation.

Makes conforming changes to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2008 and repeals provisions that require each Office of Inspector General to provide a website service to allow an individual to request automatic receipt of related information and receive its electronic transmittal or notice of its availability without further request.

(Sec. 14) Considers each IG office to be a separate federal agency.

Provides that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration may provide physical security for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees but shall not be responsible for protecting the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

... and this important discussion continues.


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