Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Walpin Firing: Where There's Smoke There's B.O.

Last Wednesday Inspector General Gerald Walpin learned that he was being fired. Was his being fired due to his astute abilities in finding corruption and misuse of Americorp funds by Obama's friend Kevin Johnson? I smell a stench in the air. I can see the words cover up written on the graffiti-filled bathroom walls. I believe that the corruption from the streets of Chicago has been transplanted to the streets of Washington D.C.

Here is a little bit of background on the life of Gerald Walpin:

Walpin grew up in the Bronx. His parents went hungry so that he could eat dinner. Walpin, while growing up, was a hard worker and continued with the same tenacity during his adult life. With all of his efforts and hard work he made it into Harvard, even though he was unable to pay for it. He would not give up on his American dream. Walpin's dream was to be a litigator. He went to Yale law, took out massive college loans, eventually got a scholarship and graduated from Yale in 1955.

During Walpin's career he has been a 1st Lieutenant in JAG, a special U.S. prosecutor who took on the conservative Ray Cohn, the infamous counsel to an aid of Senator Joseph McCarthy. He also helped to indict Nixon's two cabinet members and represented Mia Farrow against Woody Allen.

In an article by Byron York of the Washington Examiner he stated:

"The White House's decision to fire AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin came amid politically-charged tensions inside the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that runs AmeriCorps. Top executives at the Corporation, Walpin explained in an hour-long interview Saturday, were unhappy with his investigation into the misuse of AmeriCorps funds by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California and a prominent supporter of President Obama. Walpin's investigation also sparked conflict with the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento amid fears that the probe -- which could have resulted in Johnson being barred from ever winning another federal grant -- might stand in the way of the city receiving its part of billions of dollars in federal stimulus money. After weeks of standoff, Walpin, whose position as inspector general is supposed to be protected from influence by political appointees and the White House, was fired."

Obama has consistently shown that he can't handle any sort of dissent or criticism at all. His huge ego gets shattered at the thought of someone actually disagreeing with him. Obama is proving that if any type of corruption comes to light, and it involves any of his cronies or monetary contributors, he makes sure that the corruption is covered up. In this case, he has decided to get rid of the ethical party. What happened to Obama standing up against corruption? Walpin was acting responsibly, by investigating and following up on a lead that involved corruption. If that lead happens to include Kevin Johnson, one of Obama's friends, so be it.

On Wednesday night when Walpin was contacted by Norman Eisen, Special Counsel to the President and "He said, 'Mr. Walpin, the president wants me to tell you that he really appreciates your service, but it's time to move on,'" At that moment Walpin had just finished a report on the Sacramento probe. He had just also finished an investigation into extensive misuse of AmeriCorp money by the City University of New York, which is AmeriCorp's biggest program. Because of his findings from the investigations of St Hope and City University of New York, top executives kept him out of corporation business that should normally include the Inspector General.

An article by Byron York stated:
"Walpin says he told Eisen that, given those two investigations, neither of which was well-received by top Corporation management, the timing of his firing seemed "very interesting." According to Walpin, Eisen said it was "pure coincidence." When Walpin asked for some time to consider what to do, Eisen gave him one hour. "Then he called back in 45 minutes and asked for my response," Walpin recalls."

I don't think that it was any coincidence at all. This was planned. Obama wanted to stop Walpin before he found any more problems with the way the money was managed at AmeriCorp. Think about it, Obama wants to expand AmeriCorp and if it was proven that the money was mishandled that could have some effect on whether Obama's much wanted program expansion would happen or not. I am sure that Obama didn't want AmeriCorp to be put in a bad light. The fact that Walpin's firing was so sudden and immediate is a telling sign and I believe is much more than a coincidence. If Gerald Walpin wasn't an excellent investigator than why would he be an Inspector General? He was obviously an excellent investigator of corruption which was not affiliated with any political group. He must have been a great investigator for his own good, to find corruption with one of Obama's chummy old friends. Obama by firing Walpin in such an interesting and a sudden way has made this political when the Inspector General is suppose to be apolitical and do independent investigations and follow those investigations wherever that leads him without regard to any particular political party.

Last year, a dispute began, when Walpin recommended that Johnson and St. HOPE be barred from receiving and using federal grant money. This is known as "suspension and disbarment", which means that under the current arrangement Johnson would be suspended from receiving any federal funds and might be ultimately barred from receiving funds in the future. "The whole purpose of suspension and debarment," Walpin says, "is to say that somebody who was involved in the misuse of government funds in the past should not be trusted with federal funds in the future."

Walpin's finding included that Kevin Johnson and St.HOPE did in fact misuse the government funds under the guidelines that were specified in the grant. Johnson used federally-funded AmeriCorp staff for his own personal use, which included: "driving [Johnson] to personal appointments, washing his car, and running personal errands."

Byron York stated:
"Walpin came to the conclusion that Johnson and St. HOPE should be subject to suspension and debarment. But it was not Walpin's decision to make; there is another official at the Corporation whose job it is to make that call. In September 2008, after reviewing Walpin's evidence, the official decided to order a suspension, with the distinct possibility that it would lead to a permanent debarment."

This shows that he was not the only person who came to the conclusion that Kevin Johnson misused federal grant funds and used federal AmeriCorp employees for his own personal gain, which was not apart of their responsibilities as AmeriCorp staff. Did the other official come to the wrong conclusion also? He obviously thought Walpin did a thorough job investigating the matter and that he had proven that Johnson did indeed misuse federal grant money.

In the meantime, Johnson was elected Mayor of Sacramento. After Congress passed the $787 billion stimulus package the conflict became a far more pressing issue since Johnson and Sacramento were hoping to receive aid from the Stimulus package. But, because of Walpin's investigation and assessment of Kevin Johnson's misuse of prior federal funds their would be an insuperable obstacle for Johnson and Sacramento to getting all the funds.

"On March 21, the Sacramento Bee reported that, "The city of Sacramento likely is barred from getting federal money -- including tens of millions the city is expecting from the new stimulus package -- because Mayor Kevin Johnson is on a list of individuals forbidden from receiving federal funds, according to a leading attorney the city commissioned to look into the issue." The issue was explosive. What if there were all that federal money raining down and Sacramento couldn't get any because its mayor had been found to have misused federal money in the past?"

Obviously because of the massive debt California has been facing the past few months or so, Sacramento desperately needed their part of the Federal Stimulus money. Kevin Johnson is the one that had put Sacramento in jeopardy of not receiving any help from the Stimulus. It is not Walpin's problem that Sacramento elected a mayor that had misused federal funds before. I am sure that Obama felt some pressure from one of his top supporters to take care of this situation so that Sacramento could receive federal Stimulus Funds.

The White House claims that Inspector General Gerald Walpin is "confused, disoriented, and unable to answer questions."

Glenn Beck said:
"Believe me, the only thing wrong with Gerald Walpin is that his heart hurts from being thrown under the bus by the system he served for so long."

According to the Associated Press, the FBI has opened up an investigation into allegations that an executive obstructed a federal inquiry by deleting emails written by Johnson. In order to settle the investigation St.HOPE Academy agreed to repay close to $424,000 in federal grants.

"I was fired because I did my job," Walpin told KCRA 3 from his home in New York City. "That's bad for our country. It's bad for taxpayers because it's the responsibility of an IG to make sure that taxpayers' money is not wasted."

In my assessment, Gerald Walpin is not disoriented or confused. I believe it is President Obama who is disoriented and confused. He is the one who is acting in a delusional state, trying to cover up and avoid reality, that his friend Kevin Johnson was involved in corruption. Obama is the one that has penalized an inspector general for doing his job extremely well. Walpin was fighting to reduce government waste and the misuse of federal funds. He was doing this by pinpointing where corruption was located, and acting accordingly to get rid of that corruption. Walpin has been wrongly fired for doing his job with precision. Could there be a lawsuit brewing? Obama has proven that he doesn't mind allowing corruption to exist, as long as it has to do with the Democrats. But, should the big, bad, ugly Republicans be involved in corruption, that must be weeded out. Corruption should not be advocated or accepted by any politician from any political party. It should not be a Democrat or Republican issue, in trying to make the other party look bad, but it should be a moral issue.

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