Saturday, June 19, 2010

There can no longer be an independent IG

Inspector General Gerald Walpin was getting too close to one of The One's protected law violators, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johson. So Obama summarily fired him, despite the law requiring 30 days notice to Congress. A US judge found a way to allow Obama to violate the law. How convenient. But it doesn't make sense. Washington Examiner:
A federal judge in Washington has dismissed the wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by Gerald Walpin, the AmeriCorps inspector general who was fired last year by President Obama. And not just dismissed; if the decision by U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts stands, in the future the White House will be able fire other inspectors general as it fired Walpin without fear of legal consequences. The law requires the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice, plus an explanation, before firing an inspector general, but Walpin was summarily dismissed by the White House without notice to Congress or explanation on June 10, 2009. At the time, Walpin was aggressively investigating misuse of AmeriCorps money by Sacramento, California mayor Kevin Johnson, a friend and political ally of President Obama. Walpin sued to get his old job back, arguing that he was unlawfully dismissed. Judge Roberts rejected Walpin’s claim by deciding that Walpin was not summarily fired, after all. Even though Walpin was placed on immediate administrative leave on June 10, his authority removed, denied access to his office, email, etc., Roberts says Walpin was not technically fired until later, after the White House had notified Congress. Therefore, the president did not violate the law in ousting Walpin.
So Obama can lock out an "independent" IG and prevent him from continuing his work. But he wasn't fired, the judge says, because he was put on paid leave. This grossly violates the purpose of having independent IGs. An independent IG will sometimes find things the "big boss" doesn't like. If he is independent you allow him to do that - to do his job. Obama would not allow Walpin to continue working when he found inconvenient facts. Obama violated the intent of the law and Judge Richard Roberts allowed him to. Big government just got more power. This will hurt all of us as we see our tax dollars going to powerful people who violate the conditions under which they get the grants.

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