www.wolfowitzresign.com May 21, 2007

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

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

News Round Up May 9, 2007

Washington Post - Wolfowitz Criticizes Handling Of Probe; World Bank Chief Accuses Panel of Leaks, Unfair Haste
New York Times - Treasury Chief Supports Delay for Wolfowitz
Wall Street Journal - World Bank Board May Take Action on Wolfowitz This Week
Financial Times - Paulson backs calls for due process

6 comments:

wolfowitzmustresign said...

The Wall Street Journal

Politics & Economics: World Bank Board May Take Action on Wolfowitz This Week

Greg Hitt and Neil King Jr.
9 May 2007

WASHINGTON -- The World Bank's board is leaning toward taking stern disciplinary action against President Paul Wolfowitz, with some bank officials saying there could be majority support in favor of calling for Mr. Wolfowitz's removal as early as this week.

The 24-member board is expected in coming days to respond formally to a confidential, 50-page draft report by a special board committee set up to look into Mr. Wolfowitz's handling of a promotion package for his girlfriend and bank staffer, Shaha Riza. The report concludes that Mr. Wolfowitz placed himself in a "conflict of interest" when he dictated the terms of Ms. Riza's package and says he should have removed himself from the situation, according to an individual close to the board who is familiar with the document.

It raised concerns about his failure to consult with the board and bank ethics officials on details of Ms. Riza's transfer, noting the pay increases and promotion given to her were excessive and went beyond what bank rules allow.

The report suggests that the board's Ethics Committee could have been clearer in its communications with Mr. Wolfowitz. It also finds that the contracts of two top Wolfowitz aides, Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems, were generous but generally within bank norms. Critics have raised questions about pay arrangements for those individuals.

Still, the weight of the findings -- which include some 600 pages of supporting documents -- was against Mr. Wolfowitz. They offer a broad indictment of his actions on behalf of Ms. Riza, alleging that he violated terms of his contract and the bank's code of conduct.

The panel has given Mr. Wolfowitz until the end of the day today to respond to the allegations. Bank officials said they expect the panel will incorporate his response into its final report to the full board, along with its recommendations on what steps the board should take. The full board might then take up those recommendations on Friday.

As Mr. Wolfowitz's attorney demanded more time to respond, some European finance ministers added yesterday to growing pressures for Mr. Wolfowitz to step down. But the White House said it was standing by the former deputy defense secretary. "We're not engaged in deal making," said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. "We have been engaged in discussions about making sure the process works appropriately, and making sure that Paul Wolfowitz has an opportunity to make his case, and ultimately continue to lead the institution."

Despite the Bush administration's apparent steadfastness, Mr. Wolfowitz's reign at the bank appeared increasingly tenuous as the full board began to weigh how to respond to the committee report.

Senior bank officials said there is strong support for disciplining Mr. Wolfowitz, with a large number of board members in favor of his leaving the bank. Mr. Wolfowitz has stirred opposition within the bank since he arrived in June 2005. The current storm has swirled around his handling of the Riza matter. The board's Ethics Committee rejected Mr. Wolfowitz's initial proposal to recuse himself from personnel matters regarding Ms. Riza, and instead sought her temporary transfer to the State Department.

Mr. Wolfowitz has said he got involved at the instruction of the board's Ethics Committee and despite his own unease. But the report suggests that he should have left details to others, and that he should have simply gone back to the board for further guidance, instead of moving on his own.

The report also flags concern with the extensive public statements made by Mr. Wolfowitz and others about what the board regarded as a confidential administrative proceeding. The report says Mr. Wolfowitz's public comments resulted in the institution being seen in a negative light, which undermined staff morale, and was inconsistent with his obligation as president to maintain high standards of integrity, according to the individual close to the board.

Mr. Wolfowitz's lawyer, Robert Bennett, lashed out at how the report has been handled, and demanded that his client be given more time to respond to its findings. Mr. Bennett said the committee "delivered more than 600 pages of report, transcripts and documents" to Mr. Wolfowitz on Sunday night, with the assumption that he would respond within two days. "This is terribly unfair," Mr. Bennett said in a statement.

Opinions appeared to be hardening against Mr. Wolfowitz in key European capitals. Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos told reporters at a meeting of European finance officials in Belgium that he had "serious doubts" about Mr. Wolfowitz's fitness for the job. "What we need is a president with a good reputation and integrity," Mr. Bos said.

Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders suggested to reporters at the same meeting that Mr. Wolfowitz's travails had weakened the bank's efforts to improve governance structures in the developing world. "It is impossible to go around the world speaking about good governance without good governance at the World Bank," he said.

U.S. contributions to the World Bank give Washington a 16.4% voting share on the board. Europe together has twice the voting share of the U.S. Some European diplomats in Washington said Europe is eager to avoid a situation in which countries would have to take the highly unusual stance of voting en masse against the U.S.

Treasury spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said the department wants to see the board give "sufficient time" to reviewing the report, as well as to allowing Mr. Wolfowitz to respond.

Anonymous said...

This entire episode is a conveniently orchestrated push to get Wolfowitz out of the World Bank because liberal Europe doesn't like his stand on the Iraq war and his thinking on the Iraq war. If he ends up leaving the bank I hope Bush puts Richard Perle in the position. Then let's see what scheme the leftists at the World Bank come up with to oust him because they don't like his politics. Liberalism will be the ruin of us all.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

Wake up and smell the coffee. The fellow is a conceited liar with hi sown political agenda. Stop spreading FUD.
No one wants a two-timer Perle who always blame others for his weakness and mistakes. Tell Perle sell his house in Provence.

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