Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Probe launched in suspicious firing of inspector general


Senator blasts Obama administration:
'Intimidation or retaliation cannot be tolerated'

By Drew Zahn
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa

In the wake of the White House's highly controversial firing of an independent inspector general, one U.S. senator is demanding answers and justification, requesting records that extend even to the Office of the First Lady.

As WND reported, President Obama fired Gerald Walpin, the inspector general in charge of rooting out corruption in the AmeriCorps program, shortly after Walpin called for action against a prominent Obama supporter, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who had misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants.

Walpin told WND he didn't think the timing of his firing was a coincidence, and indeed, he said, "I was fired for doing my job."

Radio host Rush Limbaugh 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."

Today, according to a report in the Washington Examiner, U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, has demanded both an explanation from the administration and evidence of its dealings with Walpin.

"I am very concerned about the appearance that the I.G.'s communication with my office about this matter may have contributed to his removal," wrote Grassley, referring to reports Walpin had filed with Congress over Johnson's case. "Inspectors general have a statutory duty to report to Congress. Intimidation or retaliation against those who freely communicate their concerns to members of the House and Senate cannot be tolerated."

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