The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), is satisfied with the White House’s explanation of the firing of Americorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin and is not planning to investigate further.
"We have met with White House staff and interviewed staff at the Corporation for National and Community Service, and Democratic and Republican board members, and have reviewed hundreds of pages of documents," Towns said in a statement Tuesday. "This evidence shows that the Corporation board’s report expressing concerns about Mr. Walpin’s performance was fact-based, unanimous, and nonpartisan. Based on this evidence, I am satisfied that the President had legitimate reasons for removing Mr. Walpin, and complied with the Inspector General Act. In light of our review, and because Mr. Walpin has now filed a lawsuit challenging his dismissal, I do not expect the Committee to take further investigative action at this time."
The statement comes soon after a 30-day window for Congressional review of Obama’s decision to terminate Walpin ran out. Some members of Congress had raised concerns that Obama didn’t adequately explain his reasons, though most of those who did so now seem to be satisfied. However, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is still pressing for more answers about the firing.
Last week, Walpin filed a lawsuit alleging that his dismissal was unlawful. Towns’s statement cites that as one reason for the committee dropping the issue.
Towns said he is seeking further information about disputes involving other inspectors general: those for Amtrak and the International Trade Commission