Paul Wolfowitz Resigns From World Bank
ABC is reporting:
World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has resigned his post, effective June 30.
An internal panel tasked with investigating the lucrative pay and promotion package Wolfowitz arranged in 2005 for girlfriend Shaha Riza found him guilty of breaking bank rules.
The committee also found that he tried to hide the salary and promotion package from top ethics and legal officials within the bank. The report added that there is a “crisis in the leadership” at the World Bank.
Wolfowitz is the first World Bank president to ever leave the bank under a cloud of scandal.
Wolfowitz: Girlfriend ‘Angry and Upset’
Wolfowitz lost the fight to keep his job after months of controversy surrounding his involvement with securing his girlfriend a pay raise and promotion.
The controversy set off a media firestorm, with questions swirling about the current status of Wolfowitz’s relationship with girlfirend Shaha Riza, and it’s unclear whether they are still together.
Wolfowitz has defended the pay package, telling the bank’s investigative committee he was trying to avoid a potential lawsuit from Riza.
“Ms. Riza was extremely angry and upset about being required to take an external placement,” Wolfowitz wrote in a May 11 statement to the World Bank investigative committee.
Riza had been a World Bank employee for eight years, promoting women and democracy in the Middle East, when Wolfowitz was named president of the institution in 2005.
The Bank’s ethics committee determined Riza needed to leave the bank when Wolfowitz took control to avoid a conflict of interest.
UPDATE: The prisoners are left in charge of the asyslum!
The Opinion Journal gives you the real story here:
So after weeks of nasty leaks and media smears, the World Bank’s board of executive directors yesterday cleared President Paul Wolfowitz of ethical misconduct for following the board’s own advice on how to handle a conflict of interest involving his girlfriend. And Mr. Wolfowitz in turn will resign from the bank at the end of June. Run that by us again?
We’ve said from the beginning that the charges against Mr. Wolfowitz were bogus, and that the effort to unseat him amounted to a political grudge by those who opposed his role in the Bush Administration and a bureaucratic vendetta by those who opposed his anti-corruption agenda at the bank. That view was vindicated by yesterday’s statement, which showed how little the merits of the case against Mr. Wolfowitz had to do with the final result.
Mr. Wolfowitz “assured us that he acted ethically and in good faith in what he believed were the best interests of the institution, and we accept that,” the directors said, thus rejecting the findings of a rigged investigating committee that had ignored key evidence. The most damning judgment the directors could muster is that “a number of mistakes were made,” including by the bank’s own ethics committee that had refused to let Mr. Wolfowitz recuse himself from matters involving his girlfriend, Shaha Riza.
In other words, this was all about politics. And all that mattered to Mr. Wolfowitz’s accusers was to be rid of him, whatever the pretext or methods. The least they can do now is restore Ms. Riza to her job, assuming she wants to be part of an organization that treated her so shabbily.