Skip to comments.World Bank's Former Top Lawyer Says Wolfowitz Spurned His Legal Advice
Posted on 05/20/2007 10:21:48 PM PDT by Kitten Festival
Did Paul Wolfowitz lose his job as president of The World Bank Group because he didn't listen to its top lawyer? Roberto Dañino, the bank's former general counsel, thinks so.
Dañino says that Wolfowitz prevented him from reviewing an employment contract for the president's girlfriend that was more lavish than what the bank's ethics committee had actually approved. Had he seen the contract, Dañino says, he would have sent it back for revision, and Wolfowitz might have held onto his job. "I tell my children all the time: When you make a mistake, it's not so much the mistake you make [that counts], but how you react to your mistake," Dañino says. "If [Wolfowitz] had reacted different than what he did, this would have blown away." Dañino spoke with Corporate Counsel this week in his first media interview since leaving the World Bank in January 2006.
On Thursday the bank's board of executive directors announced that Wolfowitz will step down at the end of June. It has been a stormy tenure. When he took the president's job in March 2005, the World Bank already employed Shaha Riza, a Middle East specialist and Wolfowitz's girlfriend. Ex-GC Dañino says he told Wolfowitz's personal lawyers that, under bank rules, Riza and the new leader could not have professional contact.
Unhappy with Dañino's advice, Wolfowitz took the matter to the board's ethics committee. The committee, after consulting with Dañino, worked out a deal in which Riza would be transferred to a job at the U.S. Department of State for the duration of Wolfowitz's presidency.
But Wolfowitz subsequently negotiated additional perks into Riza's contract that the committee hadn't endorsed: a 28 percent pay boost and hefty annual raises, as well as a guaranteed promotion upon her return to the bank. Neither the committee nor Dañino
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He lost his job because he did something stupid and the people who wanted him gone took advantage of it to get rid of him. It’s that simple.
Danino left shortly after Wolfowitz assume the presidency -—and for a reason—Not for this.
He lost his job because, in typical Bush Administration fashion, he was incredibly naive about the lengths to which his enemies would go to destroy him.
Well to be frank, if he was that stupid he deserved his fate. His actions on this made him appear thicker than a whale omelette.
I don’t know what you mean by that. He went to World Bank ethics committee to suggest that he recuse himself on matters about his lady friend. They told him what to do, and he followed their advice, and was fired for it.
Ceasar’s wife must be above suspicion. Charitably interpreted, his actions in this case suggest naivete approaching stupidity.
“Charitably interpreted, his actions in this case suggest naivete approaching stupidity.”
That seems to be pretty typical of both Bush administrations - naivete approaching stupidity.
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