The acting inspector general of AmeriCorps said he shredded White House documents at the request of an agency press spokeswoman that pertained to the controversial firing of the previous inspector general, Gerald Walpin, who was ousted after investigating a political ally of President Obama.
The e-mail message from agency spokeswoman Ranit Schmelzer seemed urgent, as she wrote: “WH documents were sent in error. Can you please destroy them? And can you confirm you receive this e-mail?” Acting IG Kenneth Bach responded 13 minutes later writing, “Confirmed, documents were shredded.”
Walpin is suing in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia to get his job back. He said the request to Bach to destroy the documents indicates AmeriCorps’ “recognition that they’re doing something wrong and they did not want to have a paper trail of it. To me that is an admission of their wrongdoing.”
An inspector general is the designated watchdog for a public agency who is supposed to have autonomy from the agency’s officials in guarding against waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars.
When interviewed by CNSNews.com, Walpin said he thought a request from an agency spokeswoman to an inspector general to destroy documents, and the inspector general’s subsequent compliance with such a request to be “shocking.”