Republican Senator Charles Grassley has written to Alan Solomont, head of the Corporation for National and Community Service, asking for information about the controversial firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin. Byron York as always, has the details at the Examiner. The letter is a long one; here is an excerpt:
An issue was recently brought to my attention by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which concerns the misuse of Federal grant funding by St. HOPE Academy, a grantee of the Corporation. The investigation conducted by the OIG found evidence of the misuse of $850,000 of Federal grant funds provided to St. HOPE Academy from 2004 to 2007. It was reported that this particular investigation was contentious. Furthermore, according to some recent reports this investigation may have been a contributing factor in the decision to remove Inspector General Gerald Walpin. I am very concerned about the appearance that the IG’s communication with my office about this matter may have contributed to his removal. Inspectors General have a statutory duty to report to Congress. Intimidation or retaliation against those who freely communicate their concerns to Members of the House and Senate cannot be tolerated. This is especially true when such concerns are as legitimate and meritorious as Mr. Walpin’s appear to be.
What is most intriguing about Grassley’s letter is the list of documents which he requests from Solomont:
In light of the removal of the Inspector General, it is vital that Congress obtain a full understanding of the role that you and your colleagues at CNCS played in these matters. Accordingly, please provide any and all records, email, memoranda, documents, communications, or other information, whether in draft or final form, related to:
1) the performance of Gerald Walpin as Inspector General;
2) the removal of Gerald Walpin as the Inspector General;
3) contacts with the United States Attorney’s Office;
4) contacts with officials in the Executive Office of the President;
5) contacts with officials in the Office of the First Lady;
6) St. HOPE Academy;
7) Kevin Johnson;
8) or CUNY.
“Contacts with officials in the Office of the First Lady”? The Walpin story grows more interesting every day.