June 26, 2016

THAT FIRING WAS AN EARLY SIGN OF THE GANGSTER GOVERNMENT TO COME: Gerald Walpin, inspector general fired by Obama, dies.

Gerald Walpin, the inspector general who was at the center of controversy in 2009 when he was fired by the White House amid an investigation of an Obama friend, died today. He was 84.

Walpin’s son-in-law, Allan Tananbaum, said Walpin was struck by a car while crossing a street in Manhattan.

Walpin was fired in June 2009 for his investigation of the misuse of money in AmeriCorps, the service organization that was part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, where Walpin served as inspector general. The investigation focused on Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who became mayor of Sacramento, Calif., and was a prominent Obama supporter.

Johnson founded a school called St. Hope, which received about $850,000 in AmeriCorps grants.Walpin discovered that Johnson and St. Hope had failed to use the federal dollars they received for the purposes specified in the grant and had also, as Walpin told me in an interview at the time, used federally funded AmeriCorps staff for, among other things, “driving [Johnson] to personal appointments, washing his car and running personal errands.”

Walpin recommended that Johnson and St. Hope be barred from receiving future federal funds.

It turned out to be an enormously controversial recommendation. As Walpin finished his probe, Johnson was elected mayor of Sacramento. If Johnson had been barred from receiving federal grant money, the city might not have been able to receive a share of the billions of dollars in federal stimulus money being handed out by the Obama administration.

There was enormous pressure on Walpin to back off. He didn’t. On June 10, Walpin received a call from a White House lawyer. “He said, ‘Mr. Walpin, the president wants me to tell you that he really appreciates your service, but it’s time to move on,'” Walpin recalled to me later. “[He] said, ‘You can either resign, or I’ll tell you that we’ll have to terminate you.'”

Walpin declined to resign and was fired on the spot. His firing was a violation of rules regarding the dismissal of inspectors general.

And it’s been stuff like this ever since, with barely a peep from the usual political-ethics watchdogs.

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