You may recall the case of the Inspector General for Americorps Gerald Walpin who was fired after demanding that Sacramento Mayor and Obama buddy Kevin Johnson be tried for spending Americorps funds totaling more than $800,000 for personal use. The local prosecutor failed to follow Walpin's advice and when the IG went to the parent board of Americorps asking them to intervene, he was fired by the White House - despite a law that prevented such action.
Walpin has sued to get his job back, but the judge in the case has been sitting on various motions for almost a year. Now it appears, according to this Washington Times article, that things are about ready to break:
On June 9, 2010, The Washington Times broke the story that AmeriCorps' parent, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), ignored its own sanctions against Mr. Johnson for infractions admitted by the mayor by featuring him in an honored speaking slot at the upcoming National Conference on Volunteering and Service June 28 through 30 in New York. By June 11 - the anniversary of the firing - CNCS executives made a series of frantic phone calls that resulted in Mr. Johnson being scrubbed from the list of speakers and removed from the website. The remaining questions are: Who invited Mr. Johnson in the first place, and why?
On the same day Mr. Johnson withdrew as a speaker, Mr. Walpin filed a final summation in a federal appeals court explaining why the court should order expedited action on his lawsuit. Even though he filed suit on July 17, and even though his suit is time sensitive because the administration already has nominated a would-be replacement, Judge Richard W. Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has sat on numerous motions and countermotions for expedited judgment, thus stalling the case. Mr. Walpin's petition for a writ of mandamus asks the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to issue an order for Judge Roberts to rule on all pending motions.
The Obama administration's goal clearly is to run out the clock until Mr. Walpin's replacement is confirmed, which would seem to make this case moot. On Friday, however, Mr. Walpin explained its broader importance. "The longer this case sits idly on the [judge's] docket," he said, "the clearer the message is to other IGs that ... protections Congress granted them against political interference are in doubt
Senator Chuck Grassley has demanded an explanation from the White House for why the law was not followed, but has been ignored. It is hoped that in the discovery process of this suit, that the administration will be forced to reveal their reasons for firing Mr. Walpin, as well as giving us a closer look at the inner workings of the CNICS.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky