FNC Interviews Fmr Inspector General Suspiciously Fired by Obama

Tuesday's Fox and Friends on FNC gave attention to the case of former inspector general Jerry Walpin, of the Corporation for National and Community Service, who was abruptly dismissed from his position, after he headed up an investigation of one of President Obama's political allies for misuse of AmeriCorps funds, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Co-anchor Steve Doocy also brought up the possibility that Obama had broken the law in firing Walpin without just cause. As he was interviewed by co-hosts Gretchen Carlson and Doocy, Walpin summed up his agency's findings against Johnson:

We found out that Johnson had misused the members of the AmeriCorps volunteers for his own personal purposes, had used them in political campaigns, had used them to wash his car, and had even taken them to New York to lobby for him, and they're supposed to be working tutoring students in Sacramento. He took them to New York to lobby for him to get a charter school charter here in New York.

Walpin also charged that Johnson was never required by the Obama administration to reimburse the $800,000 he owed the government:

GRETCHEN CARLSON: Right, and so he had to pay back a portion of the $800,000?

JERRY WALPIN: Well, he never has paid back a portion. The settlement agreement signed behind our back, and remember, we're the referring agency, and U.S. attorneys always deal through the referring agency. They ignored us and they entered into a settlement agreement that doesn't require Johnson to pay anything back.

When Doocy brought up the possibility that President Obama broke a law he co-sponsored in firing Walpin, the former inspector general concurred with Doocy's assessment:

STEVE DOOCY: And it’s interesting, Barack Obama, if this is true, Barack Obama may actually have broken a law he co-sponsored which was, with inspectors general you got to give them 30 days and a reason for canning them.

JERRY WALPIN: That’s correct, and I, certainly saying I lost confidence in you is not a reason for canning me, and that wasn’t even given to me when I was canned.

Below is a complete transcript of the interview with Walpin from the Tuesday, June 16, Fox and Friends on FNC: 

GRETCHEN CARLSON: Well, he was fired for apparently doing his job, Jerry Walpin, terminated by the President as inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service. That’s a federal agency that distributes money to organizations like Americorps.

STEVE DOOCY: And he was fired just after he filed reports on misappropriation of federal money by a prominent Obama supporter. Coincidence? That's what the White House says. Jerry Walpin joins us live right now, and good morning to you.

JERRY WALPIN: Good morning. Nice to be with you.

DOOCY: You know, what's interesting is you got a call on a Wednesday from a White House lawyer who said, "Jerry, you got one hour to either quit or you're going to get fired," right?

WALPIN: That's correct, and I was driving in a car at that point.

DOOCY: Terrific. And the reason given was?

WALPIN: No reason. The only reason given was that the President thinks it's time for me to move on.

CARLSON: All right, so inspector generals are supposed to do just what you were doing, which was be an independent voice of reason, some would say, in looking into whether or not there was a misappropriation of funds. And in this case with Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star and now mayor of Sacramento, an Obama supporter, what did you find out?

WALPIN: Well, we found out – by the way, we started this investigation because the agency itself asked us to do it, and I put my staff on it. We had two agents out there investigating the facts, and we found out that Johnson had misused the members of the AmeriCorps volunteers for his own personal purposes, had used them in political campaigns, had used them to wash his car, and had even taken them to New York to lobby for him, and they're supposed to be working tutoring students in Sacramento. He took them to New York to lobby for him to get a charter school charter here in New York.

DOOCY: And didn't they even admit, "You're right, we weren't supposed to use the money for that stuff"?

WALPIN: Well, they never disputed it whatsoever, and, indeed, the agency itself found that our statements were correct, and our findings were correct, and they suspended Johnson.

CARLSON: Right, and so he had to pay back a portion of the $800,000?

WALPIN: Well, he never has paid back a portion. The settlement agreement signed behind our back, and remember, we're the referring agency, and U.S. attorneys always deal through the referring agency. They ignored us and they entered into a settlement agreement that doesn't require Johnson to pay anything back.

DOOCY: So all this came down, I think, last September. Fast forward, suddenly this guy who once upon a time had been an NBA star, now he's the mayor of Sacramento. He’s also been a very big Barack Obama supporter. And a fund-raiser, in fact, is one of the guys who’s running this organization that you’re involved in, or were involved in.

WALPIN: You mean the agency?

DOOCY: The agency, exactly right. So, to some who look at this, Jerry, they say you are a victim of politics, you were putting the pressure on an Obama friend, and they didn't like it, so they got rid of you.

WALPIN: Well, the circumstances, certainly one follows the other. I will say-

DOOCY: That's a polite way of saying it!

WALPIN: I will only state that the real sad thing here is not that I'm the victim, and I am the victim of being fired because I was doing my job, and doing it properly, but the sad thing is on the impact on inspectors general, generally, because it will have a chilling effect, and on my staff. Remember, I didn't go out and investigate and find these facts. It's my career staff that went out and found the facts, and if I, as inspector general, didn't support them because I was worried about some political pressure, I wouldn't be doing my job.

CARLSON: And you say you don't need this.

WALPIN: That’s right.

CARLSON: You've had other reputable jobs in your career. You were asked to do this, appointed by President Bush. Right?

WALPIN: And I agree, it came out of the blue, the call, and I agreed to do it because I thought this country had given me so much that I wanted to give something back.

DOOCY: And it’s interesting, Barack Obama, if this is true, Barack Obama may actually have broken a law he co-sponsored which was, with inspectors general you got to give them 30 days and a reason for canning them.

WALPIN: That’s correct, and I, certainly saying I lost confidence in you is not a reason for canning me, and that wasn’t even given to me when I was canned.

CARLSON: So you’re still waiting for the reason?

WALPIN: Well, I'm still waiting if there is any possible reason.

CARLSON: Very interesting.

DOOCY: All right, well, Charles Grassley has written a letter, he wants some 'splainin' from the White House, so we’ll be watching.

WALPIN: He's a great Senator.

DOOCY: All right.

CARLSON: Jerry Walpin-

WALPIN: Thank you very much.

CARLSON: -great to have you on the show.

WALPIN: Great to have you..

CARLSON: Nice to meet you.

WALPIN: Great to be here.

DOOCY: Thank you.

WALPIN: Thank you.