Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) today sent a letter to President Biden urging the administration to promptly appoint a qualified individual as the Acting Inspector General to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and quickly nominate a permanent successor for the Senate’s consideration. This comes after embattled FHFA Inspector General Laura Wertheimer resigned following years of investigation by Grassley and a call for Biden to remove her from office.
“Though the IG herself is leaving, whistleblowers have contacted our offices and are concerned that individuals that were complicit in her malfeasance will not only remain at FHFA OIG, but also enter leadership roles. The current FHFA OIG succession plan, if unaltered, would name the FHFA OIG Chief Counsel as the Acting IG. The Chief Counsel role is currently held by Leonard DePasquale, who was found to have obstructed the IC investigation and subsequently recommended for disciplinary action in the IC report. Individuals found to have acted inappropriately in the IC report, including Mr. DePasquale, should not be placed in leadership positions at FHFA OIG or elsewhere,” the senators wrote.
In April, Grassley called on Biden to remove Wertheimer from office following a damning report from the Integrity Committee of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) on her conduct and performance. Grassley pressed for such a review by CIGIE and the Office of Special Counsel in 2017 after he received multiple whistleblower complaints about Wertheimer.
Grassley is a longtime advocate for inspectors general and government accountability, having authored numerous laws to bolster and protect inspector general offices. Over the course of multiple administrations, Grassley has sought to protect inspectors general from political interference or inappropriate removal.
Full text of the letter can be found HERE.