As the rule of law continues to break down by the actions of what is, in effect, the autocrat in chief, there comes the latest egregious act of flagrant despotism.
The Senate protects the independence of Inspector Generals. The firing of the brave Inspector General Gerald Waprin is fresh on the heels of the Obama administration cutting a Chicago gangland style deal with a major Obama backer, the corrupt Gerald Johnson. Obama OK'ed more taxpayer dollars in federal funding to Johnson as mayor of Sacramento. Worse still, Kevin Johnson does not have to return the money he robbed from taxpayers.
Jake Tapper reports over at ABC (wonder how Tapper feels about ABC turning news over ops to the White House):
In an email and fax sent late Friday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, demanded that Alan D. Solomont, the chairman of the Corporation for National and Community Service, provide "any and all records, email, memoranda, documents, communications, or other information, whether in draft or final form" related to President Obama's firing of CNCS Inspector General Gerald Walpin.
Walpin had investigated Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson's community service organization, St. HOPE Academy, which confessed to misusing AmeriCORPS grants. In April of this year, St. HOPE Academy agreed to pay a $423,836.50 settlement -- $72,836.50 of which would be paid personally by Mayor Johnson.
"For reasons that I do not yet understand, the OIG was excluded from this proceeding and the settlement lifting the suspension, was done in complete disregard of the OIG’s findings, as well as the previous determination of wrong doing identified in the Notice of Suspension," Grassley wrote. "Perhaps the settlement agreement was reached without any input from the OIG, because less than half of what was misused by the Corporation grantees is being returned to the taxpayer and the OIG would not have agreed to this arrangement. In fact, an argument can be made that not even half of the misused funds is being returned, because the settlement does not require that payment in full be made. Rather the settlement places the grantees on a type of payment plan that will occur over a decade; to date less than 10% of the misused money has been recovered."
During the course of his investigation, Walpin clashed with the US Attorney's office; eventually Acting US Attorney Lawrence Brown, complaining that Walpin acted "as the investigator, advocate, judge, jury and town crier" in his investigation, wrote to the chair of the Integrity Committee for the Counsel of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency "to express my Office's concerns about the conduct" of Walpin.
In his Friday email and fax, Grassley told Solomont, who backed Walpin's termination, that he wanted to see all materials related to Walpin's performance as Inspector General, his removal, any contacts CNCS had with the United States Attorney’s Office, St. HOPE Academy, Mayor Johnson, the White House, or the First Lady's office.
This appears to be related to a report in Youth Today, an independent, nationally distributed newspaper for professionals in the youth service field, which reported that "Some decisions about CNCS are being made by First Lady Michelle Obama, according to service advocates (who asked not to be named). Last week, Mrs. Obama announced that her chief of staff, Jackie Norris, would move to CNCS as a senior adviser. Officials said yesterday that Norris is scheduled to arrive on June 22."
Previously at Atlas: CORRUPTION ERUPTION: THUG IN CHIEF FIRES AMERICORPS INSPECTOR GENERAL