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AMERICA'S ENDANGERED WATCHDOGS
NYPost ^ | July 1, 2009 | Michelle Malkin

Posted on 07/01/2009 2:34:44 AM PDT by Scanian

WATCHDOGS are an en dangered species in the Obama Age. The latest government ombudsman to get the muzzle: Amtrak Inspector General Fred Weiderhold.

The veteran employee was abruptly "retired" this month -- just as the government-subsidized rail service faces mounting complaints about its meddling in financial audits and probes.

Question the timing? Hell, yes.

On June 18, Weiderhold met with Amtrak officials to discuss the results of an independent report by the Washington law firm Willkie, Farr and Gallagher. The 94-page report has been made publicly available through the office of whistleblower-advocate Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). It concluded that the "independence and effectiveness" of the Amtrak inspector-general's office "are being substantially impaired" by the agency's Law Department.

Amtrak bosses have effectively gagged their budgetary watchdogs from communicating with Congress without pre-approval; required that all Amtrak documents be "pre-screened" (and in some cases redacted) before being turned over to the IG's office; and taken control of the IG's $5 million portion of federal stimulus spending.

Moreover, the report disclosed, Amtrak regularly retained outside law firms shielded from IG reach. In another case, Amtrak's Law Department appeared to meddle in an IG probe of an outside financial adviser suspected of inflating fees. The consultant ran to the Law Department when the IG demanded documents, and the Law Department repudiated the IG's instructions on complying with a subpoena.

(Excerpt) Read more at nypost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: amtrak; ig; malkin; weiderhold

1 posted on 07/01/2009 2:34:44 AM PDT by Scanian
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To: Scanian

And when Amtrak gives the Republican minority the run around, what can they do in the age of Obama? All of this is a strong argument for divided government.


2 posted on 07/01/2009 2:47:10 AM PDT by Truth29
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To: Scanian

Government-subsidized rail service fails so lets put more money into it and the posr office too.


3 posted on 07/01/2009 3:07:14 AM PDT by Vaduz
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To: Scanian

Are there any publicly traded law firms?

After reading this article, I’m beginning to believe they are the only guaranteed winners in this society, whether they are on the winning or losing side.


4 posted on 07/01/2009 3:10:49 AM PDT by Glenn (Free Venezuela!)
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