Gerald Walpin cleared, wants to get his job back to investigate AmeriCorps corruption

This ought to give the White House a couple sleepless nights.

Gerald Walpin, the AmeriCorps inspector general fired by the White House in July during his probe of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, has been cleared of a complaint by the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento that he had acted improperly.

Now, he says, he wants his job back.

"It takes away any basis belatedly set forth by the White House as a reason for my termination," Walpin said this morning in an interview from his home in New York. "So I am certainly looking forward to a final determination by the court and to be reinstated."

Walpin filed suit in federal court in Washington, D.C., in July alleging that he was fired improperly while investigating whether Johnson had misused federal grant funds. The government is trying to have the case dismissed, but Walpin filed documents in court late Monday opposing that.

Among the documents was an Oct. 19 letter from the Integrity Committee of the Council of the Inspectors General for Integrity and Efficiency telling him that the probe against him had been closed.

"After carefully considering the allegations described in the complaint together with your response, the IC determined that the response sufficiently and satisfactorily addressed the matter and that further inquiry or an investigation regarding the matter was not warranted," committee Chairman Kevin L. Perkins wrote.

The investigation had been prompted by an extraordinary April letter from Lawrence G. Brown, then the acting U.S. attorney for the Sacramento area, complaining to the Integrity Committee that Walpin had "overstepped his authority," withheld "potentially significant information at the expense of determining the truth" and engaged in a campaign in the media that damaged the image of the AmeriCorps program. . . .

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