Mayor-elect’s aide faulted in dismissal of Amtrak IG

by
December 13, 2010

By Jim McElhatton-The Washington Times

D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray hailed Amtrak executive Lorraine Green‘s more than 25 years of government and private-sector experience when he put her in charge of both his campaign and transition team.

But within days of Mr. Gray beating Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in the mayoral race, a little-noticed congressional report raised sharp questions about Ms. Green in connection with the controversial dismissal of a longtime former Amtrak inspector general.

Republicans say former Inspector General Fred Weiderhold was forced out of his job after issuing a series of reports that uncovered waste and fraud in Amtrak‘s executive ranks.

After Mr. Weiderhold‘s abrupt departure, Amtrak officials tapped Ms. Green, head of human resources at Amtrak, which has about 19,000 employees, to be interim inspector general. During her months in the interim job, congressional investigators said Ms. Green delayed the release of a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) that scrutinized the very Human Resources Department she oversaw at Amtrak.

In addition, she also impeded a salary increase for one of the OIG employees involved in the human resources report, according to findings released by Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

In the report, the lawmakers also concluded that Ms. Green was a poor choice by Amtrak‘s Board of Directors for the interim inspector general’s position.

“The board’s actions following its removal of Weiderhold exacerbated the appearance that it was inappropriately attempting to control the OIG,” investigators wrote in the report.

“The board appointed Lorraine Green as interim IG, who, as the vice president for human resources, was a member of Amtrak‘s management team and intended to return to the position.

To read more, visit: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/12/amtrak-exec-vincent-gray-controversial-firing/

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