Gerald Walpin, the federal inspector general fired by President Obama last summer as he was pressing his probe of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, has lost his bid to win his job back.
A federal judge in Washington, dismissed a lawsuit Walpin filed in July seeking reinstatement as inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees the AmeriCorps program.
Walpin had claimed the White House notified him June 10, 2009, that he had one hour to resign or be fired, and in his suit he said he deserved to be reinstated because Obama could not fire him without first giving Congress 30 days notice.
The administration countered that the president sent Congress notice on June 11, 2009, of his plans to fire Walpin "effective 30 days from today" because he had lost confidence in him. Walpin was placed on administrative leave with pay and prevented from using his office or staff while the 30 days passed.
U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts issued an order in Washington on Thursday dismissing the Walpin suit, but noted that his decision could be appealed.
Walpin's firing has stirred controversy, particularly among Republican members of Congress who contend the move was politically motivated.
At the time of his dismissal, Walpin was fighting the federal government's decision to end his probe of Johnson's St. HOPE Academy with a civil settlement rather than a criminal referral.
Walpin had begun investigating Johnson and St. HOPE in 2008 because it received AmeriCorps funding. Johnson won election as mayor despite the probe and has adamantly denied any wrongdoing.
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