www.wolfowitzresign.com May 21, 2007

"Mission (Actually) Accomplished!" We are retiring. Good luck with the search for a successor.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Wolfowitz decries "smear campaign" against him and vows he will not resign

Reuters - Wolfowitz says won't resign

Lesley Wroughton
Mon April 30 2007

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz lashed back at critics on Monday who he alleged were conducting a "smear campaign" against him and vowed he would not resign over what he termed unfair charges.

In a statement to an investigating bank panel looking into whether he broke ethical and other rules in a pay-and-promotion deal he directed for his girlfriend, Wolfowitz said the treatment of the issue has become "circus like."

Click here for Wolfowitz's statement to the Ad Hoc Committee

Click here for Bennett's submission to the Ad Hoc Committee on behalf of Wolfowitz

Click here for full story

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wolfowitz's statement and the document prepared for his hearing at the Board today is full of lies and misrepresentations. See the GAP website for an initial review. http://www.whistleblower.org/content/press_detail.cfm?press_id=966
If Wolfowitz acted in good faith in 2005, he has certainly changed and is not acting in good faith now! The Board should FIRE HIM as soon as possible, or at least place him on administrative leave pending the outcome of their deliberations. He will NOT resign -- and his aim is to destroy the Bank.

Anonymous said...

Roberto Dañino statement
Published: May 1 2007 00:21
April 30
Dear Sir:
I have been informed by the Bank’s corporate secretary, Mr Paatii Ofosu-Amaah, that in connection with my personal appearance of April 10 2007, the ad-hoc committee of the Board (Cmte) investigating Mr Paul Wolfowitz’s (PW) handling of Ms Shaha Riza’s (SR) matter would like me to provide a written statement of my views on this matter on Monday, April 30 2007 at 5:30 p.m.

The statement below confirms the information and opinions I previously provided to the Cmte and is based on my recollection of the facts. Consistent with Bank rules, I did not take any Bank documents on this matter with me when I left the Bank. I have, however, developed further my previous statement based on the package of documents disclosed by the Board on April 13, including the record of the Ethics Committee and the President’s papers (which I had not seen before their disclosure).

I remain at the disposal of the Cmte to provide any additional information that may be required on this matter.
-----------------------------------
1. Upon PW’s election as President of The World Bank in March 2005, the Board as is customary entrusted the negotiation of his contract to the Dean and Co-Dean of the Board, with the assistance of the General Counsel (GC) of the Bank. At the time, I was the Bank’s GC.
2. PW retained the firm of Williams & Connolly (Robert Barnett / RB) to represent him in the negotiation .
3. At the time of his nomination, in March 2005, there were newspaper reports about the relationship of PW with SR which led to a press release from PW vowing to comply with all Bank rules. I was therefore instructed by the Deans to discuss the matter with PW’s attorney. During the negotiation of his contract during the month of May 2005, PW acknowledged through his lawyers that he was in ”a de facto conflict of interest” under Staff Rule 3.01, paragraph 4.02.
4. In the discussion with his lawyers, I indicated to them that SR would need to be removed from any position having a direct or indirect reporting line to PW. This could be achieved through termination with compensation, external secondment at the Bank’s expense, or reassignment to one of the Bank units not reporting to the President, i.e, Administrative Tribunal, Evaluation Office, Inspection Panel or Executive Directors’ offices.
5. PW’s attorney rejected these alternatives and I believed had proposed instead to cure the conflict by having PW (i) recuse himself from all professional contact with SR and (ii) recuse himself from all personnel actions regarding her.
6. Before submitting this matter, amongst others relating to his contract, for the consideration of the Deans, I communicated in writing to RB my understanding of the above proposal, i.e., PW’s recusal from both professional contact and personnel actions.
7. RB responded that PW’s ”RECUSAL PROCESS WOULD NOT - I REPEAT, NOT - INVOLVE RECUSAL FROM PROFESSIONAL CONTACT” with SR.
8. I communicated this to the Deans who determined, correctly, in my view, that the proposal was insufficient because it provided for ongoing professional contact violated Bank rules. They noted that spouses and domestic partners are required (Staff Rule 4.01, paragraph 5.02) to be excluded from any position with a direct or indirect reporting relationship or professional contact with the other spouse or partner, and that neither can be involved in any personnel actions related to the other.
9. I informed RB that under the Bank’s rules PW’s proposal was unacceptable, and that the problem was not with respect to his recusal from personnel matters but rather with his insistence on maintaining ongoing professional contact with SR.
10. PW insisted on his proposal to maintain ongoing professional contact and formally requested that the matter be referred to the Ethics Committee for resolution.
11. The EC took jurisdiction of the matter, obtained legal advice from me as General Counsel, interviewed various Bank officers and reviewed all options available as discussed in the Memorandum in Annex 6. After extensively analyzing the matter, the EC provided guidance to PW on how to cure the de facto conflict of interest defined in Staff Rule 3.01, paragraph 4.02.
12. The specific guidance provided by the EC was that PW (a) needed to cause SR to be seconded at the Bank’s expense to a position outside the Bank but (b) could consider an in situ promotion as a way to mitigate the disruption in her Bank career, and could take into account that she was already on the short list for a competitive promotion. No additional benefits were ever to my knowledge recommended by the EC. It should also be noted that the EC could not itself directly order changes in staff personnel arrangements because of the limitations of the Articles of Agreement, preserving to the President the responsibility for the organization, appointment and dismissal of staff, subject only to the ”general control” of the Board.
13. I understand that, to avoid embarrassment to PW, the Chair of the EC and PW agreed that the EC’s guidance would be provided to him on an informal basis so as when it was implemented, PW would withdraw his formal request for guidance.
14. PW informed the EC that the EC’s informal advice had been implemented and therefore that the conflict had been resolved. PW withdrew his formal request for EC guidance and the EC proceeded to close the case and inform the Board that the matter had been resolved.
15. As indicated to the Cmte, I believe PW acted correctly when he instructed the Vice President, Human Resources (VPHR) to proceed with (a) the secondment and (b) the in situ promotion, because these two steps were in accordance with the guidance received from the EC.
16. However, as I also indicated to the Cmte, I believe PW acted incorrectly when he instructed that,in addition to (a) and (b), the VPHR should also (c) make an extraordinary salary increase, (d) guarantee an outstanding review for each year of secondment (with the corresponding top yearly salary increase), and (e) guarantee a second promotion upon her return to the Bank. I did not learn of these actions prior to my departure from the Bank in January 2006.
17. In my opinion, this was incorrect because:
(i) PW was in a de facto conflict of interest under Staff Rule 3.01, paragraph 4.02, which should have precluded him from providing these benefits to the very person who was part of the conflict;
(ii)These benefits far exceeded, and were granted in addition to, those recommended by the EC;
(iii) None of the additional benefits were disclosed to or approved by the Board, the EC or the General Counsel (I also understand they were granted over the objections of the VPHR but I was not involved in that phase); and
(iv) The Bank was effectively deprived of legal representation to review whether these benefits complied with Bank rules.
18. From the released documents, I have now learned that the Gibson Dunn law firm was hired by PW to review the arrangements that had already agreed between PW and SR. But, their legal opinion clearly indicates that they made a limited review of the matter and there is no indication that they reviewed whether the agreement complied with the Bank’s own rules.
19. I have now learned from Ms. Robin Cleveland ”draft” email that I, as General Counsel, was barred from participating from this point onwards because Ms. Cleveland had instructed the VPHR to exclude me on the ground that the GC could not represent both the EC and the President. She apparently was unaware or ignored that the GC is Legal Advisor of the Bank as a whole and not the President’s personal lawyer. Furthermore, in this case, PW already had his own personal legal representation. Nevertheless, as a consequence of Ms. Cleveland’s decision, the Bank did not have legal representation to assure compliance with its own legal framework. Thereafter, I was also barred from any meaningful professional contact with the President and that situation led to my decision to resign from the Bank.
20. I have also indicated to the Cmte that I did not believe that a lawsuit by SR, if at all possible given the Bank’s immunities, would be likely to succeed on the merits since the Bank was simply enforcing its own Staff Rules and doing so by providing for adequate mitigation for any disruption in her career.
21. I have also indicated to the Cmte that I believe PW acted incorrectly, not only providing the additional benefits discussed in 17 above, but also by trying to blame the Board, the EC, the General Counsel and the VPHR when these actions became public. It is only after the inaccurate assertions of PW or his spokespersons were denied by the affected parties and when PW’s express instructions in writing became public, that PW admitted he had made a mistake.
22. However, PW has subsequently indicated that his mistake was his acceptance of the EC’s rejection of his recusal. But the EC did not reject his recusal; it only decided that his proposal was insufficient inasmuch it insisted on maintaining professional contact with SR. PW has also said that those criticizing him do so because they oppose his anti corruption agenda or because they disagree with his role in the Iraq war. This is simply not true in my case.
23. I would also like to record my strong protest at the way PW has excerpted the published documents of the EC in the Bank’s web site. The excerpting relating to statements attributed to me is misleading.
24. The first excerpt mentions my mail to RB asking him to confirm that the President would agree to recuse himself both from professional contact and from personnel actions. However, the selected statements omit his reply which expressly indicated that the President ”would not -- I repeat, not involve recusal”, from professional contact with SR. The omission thus presents a half-truth that misleads the reader and hides PW’s wish not to comply with Bank rules.
25. A second excerpt is a sentence from a long background memo for the EC which creates the misimpression that an extraordinary salary increase was recommended in addition to the in situ promotion. This certainly was not the advice provided to the President. The advice did not include a salary increase beyond the one normally included in a promotion, nor did it suggest guaranteeing ”outstanding” reviews or promising an additional second promotion upon her return. However, by just quoting one sentence out of a menu of options, the excerpt again misleads readers to believe that the extraordinary salary increase was somehow recommended in addition to the in situ promotion.
26. Consequently, I formally request that the Board take the necessary steps to have these misleading statements removed or to present them in a complete and non-misleading way.
27. Finally, the Cmte requested my overall view of this matter. In my opinion, the matter presents not merely questions of legal compliance but also -- and more importantly -- questions about the moral authority of the Bank’s President and the confidence he commands from the Bank’s own staff and around the world. I believe that PW made serious substantive errors by providing unauthorized benefits to a person with whom he had a relationship that created a conflict of interest. As indicated in 17 above, the EC advised him to do (a) and (b), but he decided on his own and despite his conflict of interest also to do (c), (d) and (e). He then failed to disclose these actions and later blamed them on others, apparently trying to deceive the board, the staff, and the general public. He or his spokespersons falsely suggested that his actions had been approved by the Board, the EC, the GC and/or the VPHR. Later statements have charged his accusers with political motivations. In my judgment, these actions and statements have badly hurt the morale of the staff, damaged the reputation of the Bank, and eroded his moral authority to lead the Bank.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2007

Anonymous said...

He's not popular in the Emirates:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/business/2007/May/business_May25.xml§ion=business

Anonymous said...

The link to the Khaleej Times journal in the 3rd comment above did not work for me even after copy/pasting. Assistance, please? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Is this better?

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/business/2007/May/business_May25.xml§ion=business&col=

Anonymous said...

Put these two sections of links together and it should work

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/business/2007/May/business_May25.xml

§ion=business&col=

Anonymous said...

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/
DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/business/
2007/May/business_May25.xml
§ion=business

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