We’re getting a few more details about that lawsuit filed Friday by Gerald Walpin, alleging that his firing as inspector general for the AmeriCorps program was unlawful.
The Washington Post reports that the suit names as defendants three top officials at the Corporation for national and Community Service (CNCS): Acting CEO Nicola O. Goren, Human Resources Director Raymond Limon and General Counsel Frank Trinity. Documents relating to the firing, which occurred last month, show that Walpin had long had a contentious relationship with CNCS officials, Trinity in particular.
So it’s worth noting that the White House officials who ultimately signed off on the firing don’t appear to be named.
In a statement about the suit, Walpin said:
I am bringing this lawsuit primarily to protect the system of Inspectors General, which cannot remain viable without insulation from political and other interference. While I also am troubled at the mud-slinging lengths those who sought my removal have gone to attempt, belatedly, to rationalize their actions, the most important objective of this lawsuit is to prevent a successful illegal removal of one Inspector General from being used as a precedent for other similar interferences and the chilling effect that it would have on the willingness of other Inspectors General effectively to perform their job when faced with proceeding against friends of people in high places.
In response, a White House spokesman said:
The administration has complied fully with the Inspector General Reform Act. The bipartisan leadership of the Senate committee that oversees IG’s agrees. We strongly believe these claims are without merit and will be rejected by the courts.
One other note: there had been some suggestion that Walpin had, since his firing, been in touch with Judicial Watch, the conservative group that made life miserable for President Clinton back in the day. But a Judicial Watch spokeswoman tells TPMmuckraker that the group is not involved in this suit.
We’ll have more on this when we’ve looked through the lawsuit…