It would seem that fired AmeriCorps Inspector General, Gerald Walpin, is not alone. Recently, it came to light that Walpin was fired against the law – the Inspectors General Reform Act requires a 30-day notice to Congress – by President Obama for obvious cronyistic reasons. Obama has informed the public that Walpin appeared to be confused and was basically senile in a public statement defending his firing of the IG. But the truth is that Walpin found out that an Obama supporter, Kevin Johnson, had misused $850,000 dollars in funds and blew the whistle.
Now Walpin is joined by Neil Barofsky who is in the middle of a dispute with the Obama administration that has sparked questions about whether he is able to investigate freely. The Treasury department claims that Barofsky is not indpendent of the agency that he is suppose to be investigating. Certain Treasury documents are being withheld from Barofsky’s office. The dispute has caught the attention of Senator Grassley who sent a letter to Geithner demanding answers. He has become concerned as he learned that two other IGs (Walpin being one) were fired at the same time that they were conducting sensitive investigations.
A pattern seems to be emerging in which government watchdogs that are highlighting fraud and waste are coming under fire from the Obama “transparency” regime. Grassley issued a complaint Wednesday that his questions were not being answered. Criticism has also been sparked about the new law being violated that was passed to protect the independence of the inspector generals.
The other IG, Judith Gwynne, who oversees the International Trade Commission was told her contract would not be renewed. Senator Grassley was informed that Gwynne had documents forcibly taken from her by an ITC employee earlier this year. “It is difficult to understand why the ITC would not have taken action to ensure that the ITC inspector general had the information necessary to do the job,” Grassley wrote on Tuesday. Gwynne was informed that her contract would not be renewed three hours after Grassley’s email was received by the agency.
So much for the transparency we were promised and where is that change in the government practices we were told would take place? Looks like Obama just wants to continue the old Washington ways of hiding corruption and fraud.