WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Wednesday, through his Communications Director, sent the the following letter to the Washington Times to correct an editorial published in its June 24 editions:
To the Editor:
In your June 24 editorial “Lieberman overlooks Walpingate,” you plead “Say it ain’t so, Joe,” and, in fact, Joe says it ain’t so.
Senator Lieberman issued a statement on June 18 and, with Senators Collins and McCaskill, sent the President a letter on June 19 stating that the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is reviewing the termination of Gerald Walpin as Inspector General of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Committee staff has held meetings with the White House and is planning interviews with Corporation board members and other officials, including Mr. Walpin.
The law gives the President wide latitude to terminate an Inspector General at will, as long as Congress is given 30 days notice. Senators Lieberman and Collins – leaders of the Committee with oversight responsibilities for Inspectors General – have no authority to block a firing. But, contrary to the impression left by your editorial, Senator Lieberman and his Committee colleagues are committed to conducting an independent review to make sure Mr. Walpin’s termination was not arbitrary, capricious, punitive, or political. And that is what they are doing.