In an interesting twist of events, when I saw the Associated Press writers’ news release about the firing of the IG in The Sacramento Bee it piqued my interest. Having followed the AP stories on Johnsons’ nonprofit group for a few months now, it came as a surprise to see the person who is responsible for uncovering the misuse of funds fired by the President himself.
The removal of Gerald Walpin, the current Inspector General who investigates AmeriCorps and other national service programs by the President himself is interesting in itself. More interesting, the change comes after his friend was cited for misuse of funds through his nonprofit group.
The change is followed by an earlier investigation citing Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, of NBA fame and supporter of Obama of misuse of federal grants by his nonprofit education group. Johnsons group received funds from AmeriCorps, which gives grants to volunteers of certain community service programs.
AmeriCorps is named as Public Allies signature program. Although the first lady gets more press on her personal involvement in Public Allies as founding Executive Director of Public Allies Chicago, few know President Obama was on the founding advisory board for Public Allies.
President Obama signed a $5.7 billion national service bill that triples the size of AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 positions within the first few months of his presidency. The bill is called the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act, or GIVE Act.