Thursday, June 25, 2009

Walpingate: Fired to Avoid Embarrassment?

This is from They've been doing a great job of following what should be one of the leading stories on the news but isn't.

Inspector general fired to avoid embarrassing Obamas?
Report cites his dedication to investigating AmeriCorps

Posted: June 24, 2009
11:05 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Gerald Walpin

A new report reveals that there is substantial evidence that Inspector General Gerald Walpin was fired from his post where he was investigating AmeriCorps funding to avoid embarrassment for President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.

The report is from Byron York at the Washington Examiner. On his blog, he wrote he interviewed a Republican member of the board for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the overseer for AmeriCorps, a favorite program for the Obamas.

The report said the board discussion was revolving around the St. HOPE program in California, which has been given hundreds of thousands of federal dollars and used it for, among other things, washing cars for Obama friend and Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson.

The board member told York Walpin opposed an agreement that would require a return of only part of the allegedly misused money and leave Johnson open to receiving more federal dollars.

"Walpin told board members at the meeting that he wanted to issue some sort of public statement to the effect that there should be more investigation of the St. HOPE matter," York reported.

"He said, 'I feel so strongly about this that today I am going to issue a statement to the press calling for further investigation,'" the member said, York reported. "The board members all caught that."

The report said that was distressing for the board because of AmeriCorps' high profile and the fact it was a favorite program for the Obamas and was in line to receive some of the $5.7 billion from the new Serve America Act.

"In the midst of that, here was the agency's inspector general saying he might re-open an investigation into an embarrassing episode involving hundreds of thousands of mis-spent dollars and a politically prominent supporter of the president," the report said.

"We did not need any press out there on this St. HOPE matter, which was already settled," the board member told York.

Ultimately the FBI was contacted and asked to look into the St. Hope scenario, and the White House issued a statement that Walpin was confused and disoriented at the meeting and that was why he was being dismissed.

"But there is no doubt that, whatever the other reasons, the board feared that a revival of a scandal they thought was in the past would be embarrassing to the newly-prominent AmeriCorps," the report said.

At Hot, the comment was that Walpin "was anything but confused and disoriented."

"It looks from this account that Walpin did his job too well for the CNCS and the Obama administration," said the report.

On the website's forum page, one participante said, "Walpin was confused. He forgot that things now work the Chicago way."

Walpin is asking for a hearing on his dismissal and as WND reported, Sen. Charles Grassley has demanded records on Walpin's job performance and any documents related to the Corporation's dealing with Johnson and related issues.

Also as WND reported, an FBI investigation has been launched into the St. HOPE affair, now that allegations have surfaced in the Sacramento Bee from Rick Maya, former executive director with St. HOPE, suggesting a member of the charter school's board had deleted e-mails from Johnson during the federal investigation.

"All of this suggests that the purported White House mistreatment of independent inspectors general is a scandal that might have real legs," writes an editorial in the Washington Times. "As well it should."

Radio host Rush Limbaugh further accused the administration of breaking the law by firing Walpin, attributing it to "political cronyism" and declaring, "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."

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