www.wolfowitzresign.com May 21, 2007

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

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

News Round Up, May 1, 2007

"Wolfowitz Loses Ground" - New York Times

New York Times - Wolfowitz Goes on the Attack, but Hints at a Deal
Wall Street Journal - Wolfowitz Weighs Quitting if Name Cleared
Financial Times - Wolfowitz lashes out at 'smear campaign'
Washington Post - Wolfowitz Says He Is Target of 'Smear' Tactics


wolfowitzmustresign said...

Wall Street Journal

Wolfowitz Weighs Quitting if Name Cleared

Greg Hitt
1 May 2007

WASHINGTON -- World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz signaled he may consider resigning -- but only if the bank's board clears him of having done anything wrong when he offered a generous compensation package to his girlfriend.

Mr. Wolfowitz until now had indicated he wouldn't resign. A change in his position could pave the way for a compromise that is being explored by the bank's board, under which the board, or a board panel investigating Mr. Wolfowitz, would issue a statement that at least avoids a harsh condemnation of his actions. He would step down after that, bank officials said.

The seven-member investigative panel, which was created more than three weeks ago by the bank's board to review Mr. Wolfowitz's conduct, met yesterday. Besides hearing from Mr. Wolfowitz, the group also heard from Shaha Riza, the bank employee with whom he has been romantically linked.

Despite receiving a pay raise, Ms. Riza said she felt "unjustly treated" when required by the bank to work temporarily for the State Department after Mr. Wolfowitz became bank president, to avoid any potential conflict of interest. She said she considered pursuing "legal remedies" at the time, but chose not to do so "so as not to cause turmoil."

The appearances by Ms. Riza and Mr. Wolfowitz came as the ad hoc committee is nearing completion of a report on the case.

Mr. Wolfowitz's statement to the panel yesterday and comments by his lawyer suggest the former U.S. deputy secretary of defense would consider resigning, but not in the current environment. "Only when the cloud of these unfair and untrue charges is removed, will it truly be possible to determine objectively whether I can be an effective leader of the World Bank," Mr. Wolfowitz told the investigating committee, according to a written copy of his remarks.

His lawyer, Robert Bennett, has said Mr. Wolfowitz won't leave "under pressure" or "in the face of false allegations." At the same time, Mr. Bennett, a combative attorney who once represented President Clinton, has made clear that the bank's board would face a bitter battle if it continues its confrontational approach toward Mr. Wolfowitz.

"They better de-escalate things," Mr. Bennett said. He suggested if the board continues to examine Mr. Wolfowitz's actions, the compensation deals of other bank officials should also be investigated. "If this just keeps going, it's going to hurt the bank," Mr. Bennett said.

The broader 24-member board has been debating for several days what actions, if any, should be taken to resolve the controversy over Mr. Wolfowitz's role in securing a generous pay-and-promoting package for Ms. Riza.

The closed-door debates have focused on a range of possible disciplinary remedies, including whether Mr. Wolfowitz should be suspended from his job. The compromise under consideration appears designed to create a face-saving atmosphere, in which Mr. Wolfowitz could resign, said individuals familiar with board deliberations.

A main player in pushing the board toward a solution for the monthlong crisis has been Herman Wijffels, the Dutch member of the World Bank board who heads the investigative committee. Unlike many other board members, Mr. Wijffels isn't a career civil servant. Mr. Wijffels is a former chairman of Rabobank, a big Dutch financial institution, and a prominent figure in Dutch politics. This year, he brokered a deal at the request of the Dutch queen that forged a coalition government between warring political parties in the Netherlands.

Although he joined the board six months ago, Mr. Wijffels has developed a reputation for being tough-minded and pragmatic, bank officials said. He has stepped into the current crisis without being weighed down by the bitter conflicts that arose between the board and Mr. Wolfowitz shortly after he took office in June 2005.

Many bank staffers viewed Mr. Wolfowitz with suspicion upon his arrival because of his role as an architect of the U.S.'s unpopular war in Iraq.

The World Bank is governed by a board composed of representatives of the 185 countries that own it; the 24 directors all reside in Washington. The U.S., the bank's largest shareholder, so has far stood by Mr. Wolfowitz, with President Bush reiterating his support yesterday. Mr. Wolfowitz, he said, "ought to stay" in his current job.

In his appearance before the board panel, Mr. Wolfowitz complained he has been the victim of a "smear campaign" designed to create a "self-fulfilling prophecy" that he should step down. "I will not resign in the face of a plainly bogus charge of conflict of interest," Mr. Wolfowitz said, according to his written remarks.

Mr. Wolfowitz said he disclosed his personal relationship with Ms. Riza when he was named president, and proposed to recuse himself from personnel decisions involving her career. The board's Ethics Committee rejected his proposed arrangement, which would have allowed him to maintain professional contact with Ms. Riza.

Ms. Riza was instead detailed to work at the State Department. Mr. Wolfowitz said the Ethics Committee instructed him -- "over my strong and repeated objections" -- to work with human resources officials at the bank to implement Ms. Riza's transfer. As part of that, he dictated the terms of her compensation package, which guaranteed her a promotion and a pay increase of more than $50,000, bringing her salary to $193,590.

"To criticize me when I did nothing other than attempt in good faith to follow the guidance of the Ethics Committee would be unwarranted and grossly unfair," said Mr. Wolfowitz. He said the Ethics Committee had reviewed the pay arrangement in 2006, but took no action.

The board only decided to look into Mr. Wolfowitz's actions when details of Ms. Riza's pay package became public this year. Since then, the controversy has exploded into a broader debate over Mr. Wolfowitz's management style and the priorities he has set as president. The bank's Staff Association, which functions like a union for World Bank employees, and several senior executives and former executives have urged him to step down to preserve the bank's credibility.

Anonymous said...


Dear PW:

Having read your eloquent defense carefully, there is a simple and elegant solution to the problem.

You say you did nothing wrong and suppose the Bank were to accept accept your position and accede to your demands that you did nothing in violation of Bank rules (broadly speaking) during your tenure.

Very well.

Suppose you were to resign from the Bank effectively immediately and leave with all the compensation, and bonuses that you would have accrued if you had served out your 5 year term.

The funds will be paid out on a monthly basis as if you remain employed at the bank until the Bank's obligations to you cease, with the rest of the funds due held in escrow.

However, in order to protect the Bank, you will indemnify the Bank against any claims arising from wrongdoing during your tenure.

Not withstanding the generalities of the foregoing, you will be required to indemnify the Bank from the cost to defend and payments to settle any and all legal action that will arise from conflicts of interest, sexual harassment, or malfeasance or other violations of Bank rules and procedures.

Jurisdiction for any legal action against the Bank and yourself will be the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

You will furthermore agree that any judgments against you will not be dischargeable under the laws of any state.

If you and your attorney have complete confidence in your case, there should be no problems working out the details.

Looking forward to your response,

Innocent Bystander

Anonymous said...

As an International Civil servant, Riza could have tried her hands at the UN or any other UN organs/agencies. However, she chose the path of least resistance to further her political agenda and that of Wolfowitz.

Had she stayed at the bank, she advanced that she would not have been under the direct or indirect supervision of Wolfowitz and therefore didn't have to leave her post at the WB.

Lady, as a smart woman you forget that you were sleeping with the President of the WBank and no supervisor(no matter how strong is his or her integrity)of yours would dare go against your will because he/she will get the KISS OF DEATH ( remember how pillow talks have got some great men in trouble).Then you would be viewed as the Prima Donna of the WB and the UNTOUCHABLE.
As someone who has been fighting for gender equality and a proponent for just treatment, how do you think your colleagues would react? Where is the fairness in this case?

As the saying goes:"You don't xxxx where you eat."

Anonymous said...

I am a female staff member of the World Bank and I am disgusted by Ms. Riza's statement to the ad hoc committee and, as a professional, ashamed for her.

She considers herself discriminated because she is a Moslem Arab woman. The fact is that women, including those from Middle East and North African countries, have risen to high positions in the World Bank Group because of their hard work, talent, competence, leadership qualities as well as respectful treatment of colleagues and staff members.

One example is Ms. Nemat Shafik, Vice President and national of Egypt, who is currently serving as Director at UK's Department for International Development (DFID) while on leave from the Bank. I worked closely with Ms. Shafik during the early years of her Bank career. She came to the Bank with a PhD from Oxford and an M.A. from the London School of Economics. Ms. Riza, in fact, attended both universities but the comparison with Ms. Shafik ends there. Ms. Shafik possesses impeccable skills as economist and analyst.

Like all true professionals in the Bank, including female staff, Ms. Shafik’s judgment on issues is respected and indeed considered respectable for its grounding on solid and critical analysis. That is, her judgment does not stem from untenable sentiments, whether religion or gender-based, nor empty political rhetoric. Ms. Shafik has worked on a broad range of issues and is experienced in two regions within the institution. She rose to high positions in the Bank for her leadership on both the intellectual and institutional fronts. Not surprisingly, she was promoted to Vice President at age 39.

Ms. Shafik is admired and valued for her ability to get the highest quality output from team members and staff across the Bank. This is generated by her demonstrated and sincere respect and appreciation for staff. On the other hand, Ms. Riza has attracted only disdain from Bank staff because of her notorious rudeness and viciousness, sense of entitlement for being a Western educated Arab offspring of a privileged family, and overall lack of leadership traits. She has achieved notoriety not for her qualifications nor performance but for the use of back door tactics to get her promotion. She did not demonstrate any ability to work across boundaries both within her narrow area of expertise and across the Bank Group. It comes as no surprise she was denied a promotion to level GH more than once.

In keeping with Ms. Riza’s obtuse thinking, her rationalization for her promotion to GH is the similarity of her experience, background and education with other GH staff in the Bank. Owing to her twisted sense of entitlement, she has failed to comprehend and accept that the basis for promotions for the majority of Bank staff who have never enjoyed the privileges of patronage or favoritism is EXCELLENCE in one's job performance and professional behaviors. The latter of course includes integrity in abiding by staff rules concerning employment outside the Bank (unless the Ethics Office cleared her contract with SAIC).

Many female staff members, including myself, have not groveled nor harangued for affirmation of any special rights in the institution because of our gender. We find Ms. Riza's claims for rightful compensation for pain and suffering offensive to all of us women who work in the Bank and to all professional women.

Like all staff members of the World Bank, men and women alike, we understand that our rights go hand in hand with the fulfilment of our obligations as qualified, dignified and honest international civil servants.

Anonymous said...

wolfy is a recognizable satanist - he bears all the spiritual marks of one of the sons of the evil one.