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July 18, 2009

Former IG Walpin Sues

Via John at PowerLine, Gerald Walpin, the AmeriCorps inspector general who was fired after he began investigating a presidential pal, has sued for wrongful termination. Walpin isn't asking for money; he just wants to be reinstated--at least so far as the legal remedy goes.

I suspect that the real remedy he wants is vindication. Obama claimed that Walpin is old, senile, and unfit for work. Since a presidential apology isn't forthcoming (Obama only apologizes to tyrants and abusers), this is how Walpin can restore his reputation.

John looks at the legal angle:

The administration can deal with the suit in some combination of four ways: move for dismissal, move to stay the case, move for a confidentiality order that will prevent facts learned in discovery from becoming public, or buy Walpin off with a settlement. Based on my limited knowledge, it's hard to see grounds for either a dismissal or a stay, and it will be tough to run out the clock given that the Obama administration has 3 1/2 years left, at least. And Walpin may prove hard to buy off...

There is another option. Obama can double down. He can renew the claim that Walpin is unfit for work: that he is erratic; that he possibly abused his authority by working from home; that he is old and senile and needed to quietly be put to pasture. I expect memos from Walpin's "concerned" coworkers and subordinates may be leaked. The point being that if enough pressure is applied, Walpin may withdraw the suit voluntarily. This will be Obama's first choice, rather than the legal options John discusses.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 11:24 AM

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