Documents delivered to lawmakers this week expose a frequently confrontational and petty relationship over the past several years between officials at the Corporation for National and Community Service and the group’s inspector general, Gerald Walpin. President Obama fired the Bush appointee last month, citing a lack of confidence.
Lawmakers almost immediately raised concerns with the dismissal, suggesting the White House failed to follow proper procedure in removing the Bush appointee and did not provide adequate reasons for the dismissal. The White House outlined its concerns in a letter to lawmakers, suggesting Walpin appeared confused, disoriented and unable to answer questions at a late May Corporation board meeting.
This week Corporation staffers delivered even more evidence suggesting a difficult working relationship with Walpin, sending the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee several e-mails, memos and even a mock newsletter for their review.
In an interview yesterday, Walpin once again suggested the agency’s claims lack merit and do little to build a case for his dismissal. He is scheduled to be interviewed today by Senate committee staffers, according to the panel’s spokeswoman.
Among the documents is a May 2008 parody newsletter published by staff members in Walpin’s office and approved by him as a goodbye gift for a retiring assistant inspector general. The newsletter contained several fake news articles, including two with racial and sexual jokes referencing the federal procurement process and the government’s use of set-aside programs for minorities and disabled veterans.
One article references former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s admitted use of a prostitution service “that specializes in the procurement of blonds, brunettes and redheads.” Another suggested the associate had “finally procured her Federal retirement” from a vendor “known to be owned and operated by a qualified-minority-female-veteran-disabled person.”
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