More details sought in federal investigator's firing

Sacramento BeeJune 19, 2009 

Controversy continues to simmer around the firing of Gerald Walpin, inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service, with the latest development coming Thursday from Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Issa issued a statement asking acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown, who is based in Sacramento, to detail the legal basis for a complaint he filed against Walpin to the oversight council for inspectors general on April 29.

"The allegations that form the basis for your complaint seem very ordinary, which makes the fact that you pursued sanctions against Mr. Walpin seem extraordinary by contrast," Issa wrote to Brown.

Walpin's office conducted the original investigation into allegations that St. HOPE Academy, a nonprofit founded by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, improperly used some of the $847,673 in federal money received between 2004 and 2007.

After reviewing Walpin's findings, Brown's office negotiated a settlement in April that called for Johnson, St. HOPE and its former executive director to repay more than $400,000 in grants.

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