Another Inspector General controversy

Rick Moran
There must be some horrible disease infecting our nation's Inspectors General -- public servants whose only job is to see that the taxpayers' money is spent wisely.

I can't think of any other explanation for why the third IG in as many weeks has suddenly "retired" under suspicious circumstances. This time, it's the AMTRAK 37 year veteran IG Fred Weiderhold who has been put out to pasture.

The Boston Globe has the story:

"As Amtrak's first and only Inspector General, Fred has made important contributions in helping the Board of Directors understand key issues facing the railroad and made useful recommendations to improve how we do business,'' Amtrak chairman Thomas Carper said in a statement yesterday. "We thank him for his dedicated service to Amtrak and wish him well in his retirement.''

Cliff Black, an Amtrak spokesman, confirmed that Weiderhold has been replaced by acting Inspector General Lorraine A. Green, saying only that Weiderhold "retired.''

But several officials who asked not to be identified raised questions about the development, which set off alarm bells among some close Amtrak watchers.

Weiderhold's departure comes after the inspector general of the Corporation for National Community Service was fired last week and the inspector general of the International Trade Commission was told her contract would not be renewed.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department has reportedly asked for a legal ruling on how much power it has over the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, the administration's financial bailout of some banking and other investment firms, raising questions about how independent the administration wants it to be.

"Alarm bells," indeed. The Walpin case with AmeriCorps keeps getting curiouser and curiouser with Senator Charles Grassley now demanding answers from Administration officials to some rather pointed questions.

It appears that those IGs who won't play ball are getting picked off one by one. There might be another explanation but 3 in 3 weeks? The incidents call into question the independence of the entire inspector general system put in place by Congress to watch where our tax dollars are spent.

Hat Tip: Moe Lane
There must be some horrible disease infecting our nation's Inspectors General -- public servants whose only job is to see that the taxpayers' money is spent wisely.

I can't think of any other explanation for why the third IG in as many weeks has suddenly "retired" under suspicious circumstances. This time, it's the AMTRAK 37 year veteran IG Fred Weiderhold who has been put out to pasture.

The Boston Globe has the story:

"As Amtrak's first and only Inspector General, Fred has made important contributions in helping the Board of Directors understand key issues facing the railroad and made useful recommendations to improve how we do business,'' Amtrak chairman Thomas Carper said in a statement yesterday. "We thank him for his dedicated service to Amtrak and wish him well in his retirement.''

Cliff Black, an Amtrak spokesman, confirmed that Weiderhold has been replaced by acting Inspector General Lorraine A. Green, saying only that Weiderhold "retired.''

But several officials who asked not to be identified raised questions about the development, which set off alarm bells among some close Amtrak watchers.

Weiderhold's departure comes after the inspector general of the Corporation for National Community Service was fired last week and the inspector general of the International Trade Commission was told her contract would not be renewed.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department has reportedly asked for a legal ruling on how much power it has over the Special Inspector General for the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, the administration's financial bailout of some banking and other investment firms, raising questions about how independent the administration wants it to be.

"Alarm bells," indeed. The Walpin case with AmeriCorps keeps getting curiouser and curiouser with Senator Charles Grassley now demanding answers from Administration officials to some rather pointed questions.

It appears that those IGs who won't play ball are getting picked off one by one. There might be another explanation but 3 in 3 weeks? The incidents call into question the independence of the entire inspector general system put in place by Congress to watch where our tax dollars are spent.

Hat Tip: Moe Lane