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The White House's decision to fire AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin came amid politically-charged tensions inside the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that runs AmeriCorps.
Top executives at the Corporation, Walpin explained in an hour-long interview Saturday, were unhappy with his investigation into the misuse of AmeriCorps funds by Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star who is now mayor of Sacramento, California and a prominent supporter of President Obam
Does anyone really believe Michelle Obama did not have a huge hand in the firing of Inspector General Walpin last week, especially seeing as how large a role she plays in the organizations involved? Michelle Malkin:
Guess where the First Lady will be on Monday?
Why, she’ll be delivering the keynote address at the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco.
And who is co-sponsoring the conference?
Why, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)!
Yes, that’s the same CNCS that is the parent organization of AmeriCorps.
It’s the same CNCS that last year suspended Sacramento mayor/Obama crony Kevin Johnson from receiving federal funds after then-inspector general Gerald Walpin blew the whistle on massive fraud and abuse of AmeriCorps dollars for personal and political gain.
It’s the same CNCS that then sat by and meekly watched Team Obama and the U.S. Attorney in Sacramento railroad Walpin after the November 2008 election for doing his damned job.
And now, there is no honest, independent watchdog to raise questions on behalf of taxpayers as the Obama political machine takes over the national service juggernaut. How…convenient.
And we’re not only talking about a few speeches to the organizations, we’re talking about the First Lady being waaaay to involved in them:
Mrs. Obama’s interest is more than passing. She ran the AmeriCorps-funded non-profit Public Allies in Chicago from 1993-1996 and served on its national board until 2001. Like so many of the AmeriCorps recipients investigated by the inspector general’s office over the years, Public Allies was found to have violated basic eligibility and compliance rules. A January 2007 audit reported that the group lacked internal controls verifying that recipients who received education grants and living allowances were legal citizens or permanent residents as required by law.
And lets not forget that the former chief of staff for Michelle Obama is now a “senior adviser” at CNCS:
First Lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, Jackie Norris, is being sent to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in what is both a White House shake-up and an indication of the first lady’s sway over the corporation that oversees AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve and the Senior Corps.
Observers believe Norris, who Obama came to know early in the Iowa caucus campaign, was forced out of the White House so that long-time Obama friend Susan Sher could take over. But those same observers see her appointment as senior adviser to the corporation as an overall win for CNCS, believing that Norris still will have a straight line to the White House.
On another note, the FBI is finally investigating Sacramento Mayor Johnson’s obvious obstruction:
The FBI is investigating allegations that an executive at a nonprofit founded by Mayor Kevin Johnson obstructed a federal inquiry into the group’s spending.
Two months ago, Johnson and the St. HOPE Academy agreed to repay nearly $424,000 in federal grants to settle an investigation into whether the nonprofit misused AmeriCorps money.
Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown said he asked the FBI’s Sacramento division to determine whether e-mails written by Johnson were deleted during the earlier investigation.
And lastly, how can we forget how deeply connected these groups in question are with ACORN?
A GOP congressional report accuses the White House of doing favors for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, a former NBA star and prominent ally of President Barack Obama.
The report was spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The investigation also found evidence that D.C. schools chief Michelle Rhee handled “damage control” after allegations surfaced of sexual misconduct against Johnson, her now-fiancé.
The probe was launched after an AmeriCorps inspector general, Gerald Walpin, was abruptly fired in June by White House lawyer Norm Eisen. Walpin, who was appointed to his position during the Bush administration, was pursuing allegations that Johnson misused some of the $800,000 in federal AmeriCorps money provided to St. Hope Academy, a nonprofit school he headed for several years.
Among the accusations: AmeriCorps-paid volunteers ran personal errands for Johnson, washed his car and engaged in political activities.