Gerald Walpin, the Inspector General for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees grants to community organizations, is hitting back at an Obama administration which fired him and then claimed his “confused” and “disoriented” behavior at a May meeting was the reason for his firing. Mr. Walpin had this to say:
That’s a total lie … It appears to suggest that I was removed because I was disabled — based on one occasion out of hundreds. … I would never say President Obama doesn’t have the capacity to continue to serve because of his (statement) that there are 56 states.
Walpin went on to say that Biden’s multiple gaffes aren’t held against the Vice President. And if the administration really had no ulterior motive in firing Walpin, it seems like a total sleaze move to smear him as basically senile (which he’s quite obviously not) in an effort to discredit him.
Unfortunately, it seems like there might be more to the story. The FBI is now investigating Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, Obama supporter and Americorps grant beneficiary, for obstruction of justice relating to an investigation that Mr. Walpin had conducted against him. Mr. Walpin’s firing came amidst his criticism of Americorps grants and the aforementioned investigation of Mayor Johnson, making his removal from a position of oversight and subsequent smearing more than a little suspicious.
There may be crony politics at work here, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the Obama administration was giving lucrative grants to their buddies in the community service area, and got rid of Walpin when he started raising a fuss. We’ll see how all that pans out, but regardless whether the graft happened, I say good for Walpin for not taking a shameful slime job lying down.
Update: Firing a competent Inspector General for investigating too vigorously and then slandering him is now “an act of political courage”. Simply amazing. What’s more, the rabbit hole may go a little deeper. Reported by the Chicago Tribune and elsewhere, another Inspector has also been removed recently by the International Trade Commission, and bailout public watchdog Neil Barofsky has been stymied in his efforts to perform his duty by a Treasury Department that’s holding back documents. This may get interesting.