A witness to Walpin-gate
The White House excuse for firing an IG falls flat
The belated White House explanation for firing the AmeriCorps inspector general doesn't ring true.
The White House claims Inspector General Gerald Walpin was effectively away without leave from his Washington office and that he was so "disoriented" and "confused" at a May 20 meeting that it made officials "question his capacity to serve." An exclusive witness told The Washington Times both charges are baseless.
By all accounts, the May 20 meeting was contentious. It was then that Mr. Walpin chastised the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service for failing to exercise enough oversight over AmeriCorps grants. Our witness, a staff member, said the board was hostile and rude. He said the board repeatedly interrupted Mr. Walpin and peppered him with questions on multiple issues. He fully confirmed Mr. Walpin's account that the board excused Mr. Walpin for 15 minutes and that when Mr. Walpin returned to find his notepapers out of order, the board refused to give him time to get them straight.
Mr. Walpin says he had been working around the clock and was becoming ill at the meeting. Still, any confusion, the witness said, stemmed at least as much from the board's hectoring behavior as from Mr. Walpin's own doing. Either way, a charge that "disorientation" is enough to "question" an independent official's "capacity to serve" should rest on more than one incident. Nobody has claimed that Mr. Walpin has shown any confusion, not the slightest bit, before or since that meeting.
The second allegation is groundless as well. Mr. Walpin was not "absent from the Corporation's headquarters ... over the objections of the ...CONTINUES...