Gregory B. CraigOooh, this is getting interesting . . .
Counsel to the President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. Craig:
This morning my staff met with Norman Eisen regarding the removal of Gerald Walpin as the Inspector General at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Late on the evening of June 16, 2009, my office received a copy of Mr. Eisen’s letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. I appreciate this effort to address the concerns of Congress that the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008 be complied with, and I appreciate Mr. Eisen’s time in coming to my office to discuss these issues more fully in person. His letter set forth the reasons for Mr. Walpin’s dismissal for the first time. Mr. Eisen said he conducted “an extensive review” at the request of the CNCS Board on or about May 20, 2009. Unfortunately, however, Mr. Eisen refused to answer several direct questions posed to him about the representations made in his letter. Since he was unwilling to answer them in person, please provide answers to the following questions in writing:
1) Did the CNCS Board communicate its concerns about Mr. Walpin to the White House in writing?
2) Specifically, which CNCS Board members came forward with concerns about Mr. Walpin’s ability to serve as the Inspector General?
3) Was the communication about the Board’s concerns on or about May 20, 2009 the first instance of any communications with White House personnel regarding the possibility of removing Mr. Walpin?
4) Which witnesses were interviewed in the course of Mr. Eisen’s review?
5) How many witnesses were interviewed?
6) Were any employees of the Office of Inspector General, who may have had more frequent contact with Mr. Walpin than the Board members, interviewed?
7) Was Mr. Walpin asked directly during Mr. Eisen’s review about the events of May 20, 2009?
8) Was Mr. Walpin asked for his response to the allegations submitted to the Integrity Committee by Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown?
9) What efforts were made during Mr. Eisen’s review to obtain both sides of the story or to afford the Office of Inspector General an opportunity to be heard?
10) In addition to the claim that Mr. Walpin was “confused” and “disoriented,” the letter also says he exhibited “other behavior” that led to questions about his capacity. What other behavior was Mr. Eisen referencing?
11) If the initial and primary concern had to do with Mr. Walpin’s capacity to serve for potential health reasons, why was he only given one hour to decide whether to resign or be fired?
12) If Mr. Walpin’s telecommuting arrangements since the beginning of this year were a major concern, then why was Mr. Walpin not simply asked to stop telecommuting?
Thank you in advance for your assistance and I would appreciate receiving a response to this inquiry by June 24, 2009. . . .
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