The White House's decision to fire the AmeriCorps inspector general was set in motion by a unanimous request it received from the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which asked the White House to review the IG's performance, according to a board member.
The firing "would not have played itself out" were it not for the fact that the board raised concerns about the IG, Gerald Walpin, after the May 20 board meeting, a board member told TPMmuckraker. The board member added that the White House had no role in encouraging the board to make the review request, calling it "completely board-initiated." The White House had cited the request from the board in its letter to Congress explaining the reason for Walpin's firing.
Since the firing, Walpin has claimed that he was fired because the White House objected to his pursuit of an Obama ally, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, in an investigation into the misuse of federal funds. Some conservatives have trumpeted those claims.
The board member explained that the board had had "serious concerns" about Walpin's judgment, dating to before the May 20 meeting, causing board members to fear the "potential damage [Walpin] could cause to the corporation" through his erratic behavior. But the board member added that "the events of the 20th raised the board's concerns from concerns about his judgment to concerns about his capacity."
The original concerns, said the board member, focused on Walpin's conduct during his investigation of the St. HOPE Academy, the Sacramento nonprofit formerly run by Johnson.
The board member alleged that Walpin had spoken to the Sacramento Bee to publicly criticize the settlement reached between the government and St. HOPE. But a review of news archives suggests that Walpin has not spoken on the record to the Bee about the settlement. Rather, the Bee reported last month that Walpin had submitted a "Special Report to Congress" in which he called the settlement "a farce." It's unclear whether Walpin was the source for the Bee's story........