Jun
26
2009
4

The Report that triggered the Weiderhold ‘retirement.’

[UPDATE] In honor of Troglopundit’s request for respect for the KISS principle, here goes:

Fred Weiderhold quit rather than tell Congress he was under Biden’s thumb.

If you don’t have time to read the report that apparently triggered the Weiderhold matter (said report is also available via Senator Grassley’s office, as part of his ongoing investigation) – or even Stacy McCain’s article – here’s a quick timeline.

  • June 18, 2009: Fred Weiderhold, Inspector General for Amtrak, receives a report from a third-party legal firm indicating that Amtrak’s Law Department’s oversight of the Office of the Inspector General resulted in a situation where (as Grassley’s letter put it) “Amtrak’s policies and procedures have systematically violated the letter and spirit of the Inspector General Act.” The firm recommends that Congress be notified, either at the next semiannual report or immediately.
  • June 18, 2009 (evening): Weiderhold resigns.

Well, sometimes the story isn’t complex.  Please read on – but one last summary detail: the General Counsel for Amtrak is Eleanor Acheson, who is well-connected with the Biden family. (more…)

Jun
23
2009
12

The latest on the latest IG situation.

[UPDATE] Welcome, Instapundit readers (and Michelle Malkin readers).  In other news, I have made a prediction.

It turns out that former Amtrak IG Fred Wiederhold quit right after Senator Grassley started asking some questions.

As a senior member of the United States Senate and as the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Finance (Committee), it is my duty under the Constitution to ensure that Inspectors General, which were created by Congress, are permitted to operate without political pressure or interference from their respective agencies.  Inspectors General were designed for the express purpose of combating waste, fraud, and abuse and to be independent watchdogs ensuring that federal agencies were held accountable for their actions.  I understand that Inspector General Fred Weiderhold, Jr. has retired today.

Based on contacts that my staff had with Mr. Weiderhold on two recent occasions (April 2, 2009 and June 4, 2009), I understand that the OIG has suffered from repeated and continuous interference from the agency.  After the most recent discussion, it was agreed that the OIG would provide, among other things, a White Paper and specific examples of agency interference with OIG audits and/or investigations.  To date, the OIG has not yet provided any documents.  As you know, any interference such as that was described in these previous discussions is a direct violation of the Inspector General Act of 1978.

In light of Mr. Weiderhold’s unexpected retirement, please provide the previously requested documentation immediately.

(more…)

Jun
21
2009
6

Add another IG ‘retiring’ to the list.

Via RS McCain – whose post in general on the potential legs of the IG story is well worth reading all on its own – comes the third Inspector General to suddenly stop working for the government in a week:

The inspector general of Amtrak unexpectedly resigned Thursday night, becoming the third such federal official to leave prematurely since the Obama administration took office and the latest in a string of potentially controversial moves involving government watchdogs.

Fred E. Weiderhold, a 35-year veteran of the agency who was responsible for rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse, is the most high-profile change among the group of senior government officials who have responsibility to conduct independent investigations of federal agencies and institutions.

[snip]

But several officials who asked not to be identified raised questions about the development, which set off alarm bells among some close Amtrak watchers.

(more…)

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