Archive

Archive for the ‘inspector-general’ Category

Inspector-General Link Page

June 22nd, 2009 No comments
  1. A June 22 WP wrapup, including Amtrak IG Fred Weiderhold’s resignation and the Library of Congress IG admonishment, as well as TARP, ITC, and Americorps.

  2. Chicago Tribune June 18 story on all three IG’s, including the International Trade Commission IG who was told her contract would not be renewed shortly after a Senator complained about how she was forbidden access to agency documents (
    “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.
    Less than three hours after the letter was e-mailed to the agency, the acting IG, Judith Gwynne, was told that her contract, which expires in early July, would not be renewed.)

  3. Rasmusen posts.
    1. The TARP IG obstruction
    2. The board of directors and the Americorps IG firing
    3. Links to the 4 key documents on the Americorps IG firing
Categories: inspector-general, obama, walpin Tags:

Spreading Scandal: The TARP Inspector-General Neil Barofsky

June 18th, 2009 No comments

Obama Administration efforts to block the TARP Inspector-General from doing his job date back to at least January 30, when Senator Grassley sent a letter complaining:

It is my understanding that at this time, OMB is requiring SIGTARP to post a
proposed letter of inquiry to TARP recipients for 15 days, wait for comments, and then
justify to OMB that it has taken into account the public comments in redrafting the
inquiry letter. This is unacceptable.

On June 17 Grassley sent a letter with an IG memo attached which is about the refusal of the Secretary of the Treasury to turn over documents to the IG, on the specious grounds that (a) the IG is not in the Treasury, and the documents are covered by attorney-client privilege, and (b) the IG is under the authority of the Secretary of the Treasury, who can shut down any investigating he doesn’t like.

Specifically, my office received information that there was a dispute over
certain Treasury documents that were being withheld from SIGTARP auditors on a
specious claim of attorney-client privilege. It is my further understanding that this
disagreement then escalated into broader questions about whether SIGTARP is subject to
your direct supervision and direction, which may have been referred outside Treasury for
an independent legal opinion.

Categories: dissident, inspector-general Tags:

Walpin, Stephen Goldsmith, Americorps, and CapitalSource

June 18th, 2009 1 comment


I was wondering why Republican and former mayor of
Indianapolis Stephen Goldsmith strongly supports the apparently
indefensible firing of inspector-general Walpin of Americorps for
inspecting too vigorously. It turns out Goldsmith is a director of
a medium-sized bank, CapitalSource, that was unwise enough to
open a big California operation in the summer of 2008. Over the
year its stock price crashed from $15 per share to 90 cents per
share in early 2009 before coming back up to $4 per share in
June 2009. Just on the basis of that, I would guess that the bank
is hanging by a thread, and it’s a thread made of TARP money [No–see comment below. CS has not received TARP money. But it is still vulnerable to regulators.]
that President Obama could cut any time he wants. So we
cannot regard Mr. Goldsmith as being an entirely independent
actor.

  1. PDF
    slides
    from the company itself on Capital Source’s
    financial health. I don’t know how to interpret these, but they do
    give information on loan loss provisions and the percentage of
    loans that are currently in default.

  2. Monday, May 14, 2007 Former
    Indianapolis mayor joins CapitalSource
    “Stephen
    Goldsmith, who served two terms as mayor of Indianapolis, has
    been named director of CapitalSource Inc.’s newly created
    infrastructure finance and investment group.”

  3. CapitalSource Bank Opens 22
    California Branches Mon Jul 28, 2008

  4. My earlier blogpost detailing the firing, with 4 very good links to primary documents. http://rasmusen1.blogspot.com/2009/06/obama-fires-americorps-inspector.html

Nov. 18. I’m adding info on all the board members. The government list is here. This could tarnish all their reputations. Eric J. Tanenblatt is the one to wonder about. Will he speak up? He would be very important whichever side he takes.

  1. Alan D. Solomont, Chair. Democrat.
  2. Stephen Goldsmith, Vice Chair. Republican former mayor
    of Indianapolis.

  3. Mark_Gearan,
    .Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Peace Corps
    Director.

  4. Hyepin
    Im
    . Obama appointed.

  5. Julie
    Cummings

    (appointed in 2007).
    Donated to Repu and Dem incumbents both, up to 2002. Then
    no more donations. Her husband, a Florida real estate developer,
    donated to Bush in 2004 and
    to Romney in 2007, but not to McCain. He has his own private
    company.
    (Julie Cummings
    contributions)

  6. James (Jim) Palmer.
    Bush appointed. $250 to Tom Feeney (R, Flor. in 2005).
    Orange County Republican, owns an electric car, Christian, runs a
    soup kitchen.


  7. Stan Z. Soloway
    Bush appointed. Hillary Clinton donor.
    President and CEO of the Professional Services Council, the
    principal national trade association of the government
    professional and technical services industry.

  8. Eric J. Tanenblatt the partisan and strong Georgia
    Republican Senior Managing Director (not a lawyer) at a big law
    firm in Atlanta. Donated to McCain, Romney. Appears to be in
    no way an Obama stooge.

  9. Laysha Ward, Obama
    donor. Ward, 40, began her career at Target Corporation in 1991
    as stores
    sales leader for Dayton’s department store and was named vice
    president of Community Relations and Target Foundation in
    2003.
Categories: inspector-general, walpin Tags:

Obama Fires AmeriCorps Inspector-General Walpin

June 16th, 2009 No comments

Commentor Steve at VC wrote: “Here are pdfs of
Obama’s letter to Pelosi and Greg Craig’s letter to Sen. Grassley.

For additional information, here are the Acting US Attorney’s letter of
complaint about the IG
and the IG’s written
response
.” Thank you, Steve! These 4 documents (you
need all of them) go to the heart of the matter.

(1) Has Obama satisfied the statutory requirement? The point of
such a statute is to force the President to come out and give a
reason for the firing so that reason can be publicly discussed. I
think it would be unconstitutional to require him to give a good
reason– he should be able to say, “I fired him because he’s ugly,”
if he wants to. But the statute still has bite, because now people
can criticize the decision. In this case, we can say, “Obama
should not fire an IG just because he doesn’t have the fullest
confidence in him. He admits that he isn’t firing the IG because
the IG did anything wrong– it’s just a matter of Obama’s own
feelings. That’s a stupid reason, and we think the real reason is
something else that Obama can’t defend.”

(2) The only reason not to think this isn’t a gross scandal worthy
of impeachment is the strong approval of two other people:
Steve Goldsmith, former Indianapolis mayor, and the acting US
Attorney Larry Brown (if we do confirm that the President
firing an IG because the IG tried to make sure a political ally was
punished appropriately for fraudulent use of federal funds isn’t
that worthy of impeachment?).

I don’t know about Goldsmith, even though I’m from Indiana.
Any ideas, people? Commentor Kent Scheidegger said that he
knew Larry Brown, and that he is a good guy. Larry Brown is a
career prosecutor, apparently, not a real Bush appointee, so we
don’t know his politics. Mr. Scheidegger, do you know if he’s a
liberal? Does anybody know if he has local or national ambitions
that would be relevant? (becoming the actual US Attorney, for
example, instead of just Acting)

(3) Steve’s the Acting US Attorney’s letter of
complaint about the IG
and the IG’s written
response
” are great reading on the substance of the firing,
because they are pro- and con- documents by the people
involved. In particular, read Larry Brown’s letter. After reading it,
I think more than ever that this is a major scandal, if that’s the
best attack that can be mounted on the IG.

Brown’s complaint boils down to saying that the IG has an
opinion on whether criminal and civil violations occurred, the IG
thinks the US Attorney’s office is being slack, and the IG has
made public comment on the case instead of letting the US
Attorney keep it under wraps. Whether the IG is right or wrong,
I thought a big part of his job was to publicize wrongdoing
(though not to prosecute). He has no direct power, after all, just
the power to investigate, refer, and publicize. He couldn’t even
suspend the culprit from getting money from his agency– all he
could do was recommend it to the Americorps political
leadership, who made the decision first to suspend and then to
unsuspend.

Categories: inspector-general, walpin Tags: