Congress: IG Firing Was “Legitimate” And Lawful

July 21, 2009 11:11 a.m.

A congressional committee looking into the White House’s firing of the AmeriCorps inspector general has said that the firing was carried out for “legitimate reasons” and did not violate the Inspector General Act.

Late last week, Gerald Walpin filed a lawsuit against three officials from the Corporation for National and Community Service, accusing them of unlawfully firing him as inspector general for the agency last month.

Rep. Ed Towns (D-N.Y.), who chairs the House Oversight committee, which has been probing issues relating to inspectors general, released the following statement:

The independence and accountability of Inspectors General is a priority for me personally, and for the Oversight Committee. At the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Committee has reviewed the circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Gerald Walpin as Inspector General. We have met with White House staff and interviewed staff at the Corporation for National and Community Service, and Democratic and Republican board members, and have reviewed hundreds of pages of documents. This evidence shows that the Corporation board’s report expressing concerns about Mr. Walpin’s performance was fact-based, unanimous, and nonpartisan. Based on this evidence, I am satisfied that the President had legitimate reasons for removing Mr. Walpin, and complied with the Inspector General Act.

In light of our review, and because Mr. Walpin has now filed a lawsuit challenging his dismissal, I do not expect the Committee to take further investigative action at this time.

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