Skip to comments.The Walpin Story (Keeping score of the FOO)
Posted on 06/14/2009 6:51:53 AM PDT by yoe
If, like me, you haven't had time over the last few days to keep up with the story of Barack Obama's firing of Gerald Walpin, the Inspector General who has responsibility for the AmeriCorps program (Bruon York) will bring you up to speed. The story is an interesting one that sheds light on the lawless, bullying nature of the Obama administration.
Walpin, who by statute is supposed to be independent of White House control, ran afoul of Obama because he investigated a charity operated by former pro basketball player Kevin Johnson, a prominent Obama supporter. The non-profit, St. Hope, received an $850,000 grant from AmeriCorps. Walpin investigated what St. Hope did with the money and concluded that much of it was improperly spent, e.g. to pay recipients to wash Johnson's car. The result of Walpin's investigation was that St. Hope agreed to repay half the money it got from AmeriCorps. However, since St. Hope is insolvent, AmeriCorps is unlikely to get its money back. The acting U.S. Attorney in Sacramento declined to criminally prosecute anyone in connection with these events.
Apparently in retaliation for having put the heat on an Obama supporter, the President had Norman Eisen, a Special Counsel to the President, telephone Walpin and demand that he resign within an hour. Walpin, pointing out that he is not a political appointee and does not serve at the President's pleasure, declined to do so. So Obama fired him. By statute, Obama is required to give Congress 30 days' written notice of his intention to fire an inspector general and set forth his reasons for doing so. Obama failed to comply with that aspect of the statute, merely saying that Walpin no longer has the President's "fullest confidence." That would be sufficient reason to replace a political appointee, but not to fire an inspector general. The Obama administration first denied, but now admits, that the President is firing Walpin because of the St. Hope affair.
Byron has much more. The bottom line, though, is that this story adds to the disconcerting picture we are getting of the Obama administration--a picture of lawlessness, hyperpartisanship, cronyism and lack of transparency.
UPDATE, via a commenter (Jake Tapper) has more, particularly relating to Walpin's conflict with the acting U.S. Attorney in Sacramento. I'm not crazy about the institutional role of the Inspectors General, but reviewing the various charges and counter-charges, it's hard to see that Walpin was doing anything other than zealously carrying out his statutorily-mandated duties. What distinguishes this case from many others where an Inspector General makes himself unpopular is that Walpin crossed Barack Obama by investigating the President's crony. That's how it looks based on the evidence now available, anyway.
$850K buys a lot of car washes!
Mr. Brown, the acting prosecutor, said Walpin hadn't come up with a prosecutable offense on the part of the major Obama donor.
Now, what's a prosecutable offense? When it comes to the DOJ that means the US government isn't going to go to court for something (other than a violent crime within federal jurisdiction) that doesn't reach a certain dollar value. Years ago I had a problem with them when they wanted to kick a multi million dollar claim against AARP back to 10 cents on the dollar ~ that would take it under the then standard of $250,000 and no court time would be needed.
I believe the standard is higher these days. So what Mr. Brown did was real quick wrap up the $800,000 (app) claim against the major donor by accepting a deal. The donor would pay $400,000 now and $400,000 later (over time).
By leaving only $400,000 outstanding Mr. Brown effectively took the amount at dispute below the level of current DOJ standards whatever they are.
Mr. Walpin undoubtedly thought this was not kosher and continued to protest ~ in public.
Brown then filed an ethics complaint against Walpin. A committee charged with the responsibility for doing such things met (bunch of Eric Holder's buddies by now), said Mr. Walpin was elementally evil and trashed him.
Obama took the opportunity to fire another Republican buried in his regime.
No doubt Obama's "truth squad" thugs are busy looking for such people ~ they even come into FR and try to engage us in debates with their talking points so that they can trip up any current federal employees.
At the same time I don't think Obama went looking for Walpin on behalf of his buddy ~ although his wife undoubtedly wanted him to do that ~ but he seems to have not had to do that.
Mr. Brown and Mr. Walpin are apparently both Republicans. However, Mr. Brown is the President of an association of Prosecutors (et al) in the Eastern District of Northern California, that is, Sacramento, and has a political life, albeit not in partisan affairs. Still, I'd bet in that position he gets news on all the cases involving the rich and famous in that district long before others, and he knew this was about a major Obama donor.
Mr. Walpin probably believes Mr. Brown to be a major league a$$ki$$er (which is where all the evidence points as well).
It's the circular firing squad we should be worried about. Walpin and Brown should have been working together to drag Obamista donors into court.
I fault Mr. Brown in this dispute.
Walpin, pointing out that he is not a political appointee and does not serve at the President's pleasure, declined to do so. So Obama fired him. By statute, Obama is required to give Congress 30 days' written notice of his intention to fire an inspector general and set forth his reasons for doing so. Obama failed to comply with that aspect of the statute, merely saying that Walpin no longer has the President's "fullest confidence."
That would be sufficient reason to replace a political appointee, but not to fire an inspector general. The Obama administration first denied, but now admits, that the President is firing Walpin because of the St. Hope affair.
One can only imagine the pseudo outrage from the MSM Mediots if GW had fired someone in this manner.
(1) A former NBA star is involved.
(2) The President appears to have tried to bully Walpin into a quick resignation.
(3) The accused Inspector General was investigating a big Obama supporter.
(4) The acting US Attorney is accusing the Inspector General of misconduct.
(5) The accused charitable agency has agreed to pay back $400,000 to the government and made no effort to deny wrongdoing.
(6) No one involved has a clean exit strategy, so there will be a lot of the “he said / she said” dialog that talking heads love to play.
But since this involves Obama, there will be nearly zero coverage.
Obama is required to give Congress 30 days’ written notice of his intention to fire an inspector general...
Who, in Congress, is going to stop this firing?
*******a picture of lawlessness, hyperpartisanship, cronyism and lack of transparency***********
You can say that again:
*****a picture of lawlessness, hyperpartisanship, cronyism and lack of transparency**********
*******a picture of lawlessness, hyperpartisanship, cronyism and lack of transparency********
We currently have a runaway executive branch ruthlessly yielding their power, knowing that no one will hold them accountable.
Do you mean Michelle? If so, could you let us in on your thought or fact? Thanks.
Law? Obama is above the law. Didn't you here that he won the election?
He's a legend in his own mind.
I wish, that I could say, that I am shocked.
However, this is just part of the change.
Does what is known of this episode (apparent violation of law, for questionable purposes) amount to “an impeachable offense”?
Damn! It’s time to fire that incompetent in the WH.
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