New Politics or the same old Chicago politics?
Can President Obama explain last week's dismissal of federal Inspector General Gerald Walpin for the crime of trying to protect taxpayer dollars?
This smells of political favoritism. I wonder how can we continue to trust Obama's promise of open transparency. In fact, President Obama, as senator, co-sponsored the Inspectors General Reform Act, which requires the President to give Congress 30 days notice, plus a reason, before firing an Inspector General.
How can the White House cite that Mr. Walpin of misconduct and having improper charges on Kevin Johnson? How can they say it was "just pure coincidence" to dismiss Mr. Walpin during the St. HOPE controversy?
Something is quite fishy here.
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Dailykos is siding with the reasoning that Walpin's investigation was politically motivated because he was a Bush appointee and he was out to get Obama support Kevin Johnson. They cited that acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown (a fellow Bush appointee) questioned Walpin's conduct during the investigation and said he did not have the proper evidence to file charges against Johnson's involvement with St. HOPE. Plus since the relevant authorities determined that no crime had been committed, they allege that Walpin tried to undermine that by appealing to Congress.
Yet they failed to note that Lawrence Brown decided to cut Walpin out of the loop, and arranged a settlement with Johnson that featured a watered down financial repayment and no charges against Mr. Johnson. That was why Walpin went to Congress because he felt that the settlement between Brown and Johnson and St. HOPE did not fit the crime that was committed.
So St. HOPE had to pay back half of the $850,000 AmeriCorps grant (with a financial assist by Mr. Johnson). It also required Mr. Johnson to take an online course about bookkeeping.
And the 30-day waiting period before firing Walpin. That was taken care of when they put Walpin on 30-days paid leave, then they will fire him at the end of that.
Plus there's a Walpin allegation that there is a great deal of money that is not being properly allocated at AmeriCorps. Will this be investigated?
From the Democrat/liberal viewpoint, they think Walpin was running a politically-motivated investigation, and drumming up weak charges against Johnson, one of their Obama supporters and now San Francisco mayor.
From the Republican/conservative viewpoint, they think Walpin was fired because he was criticizing a favorite liberal program (AmeriCorps) and going after certain supporters that had the ear of the President.
Can this be solved via independent counsel?