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Paul Wolfowitz


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You'd think his driving the US into Iraq would be reason enough to question his leadership abilities. Instead, it's all about scamming a bit of money for his girlfriend. Didn't he get to make up new rules anyway, like the Bush Doctrine?

Wolfowitz broke World Bank rules, created "crisis": report

Last Updated: Monday, May 14, 2007 | 9:50 PM ET

The Associated Press

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz broke bank rules in arranging a hefty compensation package for his girlfriend, a situation that has caused a "crisis in the leadership" at the institution, according to a report released Monday by a special bank panel.

The special panel recommended the full 24-member board determine whether Wolfowitz "will be able to provide the leadership" to ensure the bank achieves its mission of fighting poverty around the world.

The board will ultimately decide Wolfowitz's fate.

Board members have discussed a range of disciplinary options. It could fire Wolfowitz, ask him to resign, signal it lacks confidence in his leadership or reprimand him.

Wolfowitz is scheduled to make an appearance before the board Tuesday. The proceedings are not public. A decision about what action to take could come as early as Tuesday or Wednesday.

The controversy that has put Wolfowitz's job in jeopardy involves his handling of the 2005 compensation pay package for his girlfriend, Shaha Riza, a bank employee.

The special bank panel concluded Wolfowitz's involvement in the details of the package "went beyond the informal advice" given by the bank's ethics committee and he "engaged in a de facto conflict of interest," the report stated.

Riza worked for the bank before Wolfowitz took over as president in June 2005. She was moved to the U.S. State Department to avoid a conflict of interest but stayed on the bank's payroll. Her salary went from close to $133,000 US to $180,000. With subsequent raises, it eventually rose to $193,590.

The panel concluded the salary increase Riza received "at Mr. Wolfowitz's direction was in excess of the range" allowed under bank rules.

Wolfowitz has maintained he acted in good faith in arranging Riza's pay package and has accused his critics of launching a "smear campaign" against him.

Panel: 'reputation and credibility' of bank affected

In addition, the special panel said it was of the view that the controversy "has had a dramatic negative effect on the reputation and credibility" of the bank, has raised "serious questions" about the bank's governance and ability to carry out its mission and was contributing to "erosion in the operational effectiveness" of the bank.

The special panel also raised fears the fracas could hinder the bank's ability to raise billions of dollars from countries around the world to provide financial help to poor countries.

European members — led by Germany, France and the Netherlands — are pushing for Wolfowitz to resign. However, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush has strongly supported Wolfowitz's presidency of the World Bank.

European and other countries would still like to avoid a pitched battle with the United States, the bank's largest shareholder. It's unclear, though, whether such a battle can be avoided.

Many of the bank's staff, former bank officials, aid groups and Democratic politicians also have called on Wolfowitz to resign.

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i shocked that wolfy lied! i mean, the man who masterminded the invasion of iraq getting caught lieing! the horror! ;)

i like to believe in reincarnative karma and when wolfy passes on, he'll be turned into a lamp post in a dog park, or a rock at the bottom of the ganges river or something.

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Story moves ahead. How do you like our Finance Minister's comments at the end? There's nothing like impartiality.

Wolfowitz Won't Resign, Lawyer Says

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 | 4:32 PM ET

CBC News

The lawyer for World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz said his client will not resign, despite reports he is negotiating his resignation over the controversial pay hike he arranged for his girlfriend.

"Mr. Wolfowitz will not resign under this cloud and he will rather put this matter to a full vote," Robert Bennett told Reuters on Wednesday.

Bennett's comments come as the Associated Press, citing unnamed sources said Wolfowitz is working on agreement for him to resign.

His departure would include a statement that the bank bears some responsibility in the issue, an official told the news group.

The board announced Wednesday that they would continue deliberating on the matter on Thursday morning.

In a report released Monday, a special bank panel found that Wolfowitz broke the institution's rules when he arranged a pay raise for his girlfriend, bank employee Shaha Riza.

When Wolfowitz took command of the bank in June 2005, Riza was moved to the U.S. State Department to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, although she stayed on the World Bank payroll. Her salary went to $180,000 US from about $133,000 US. It later grew to $193,590 after further raises.

It remained to be seen if the World Bank's 24-member board will accept Wolfowitz's demand.

In Ottawa, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Canada has taken an active part in the discussions over the future of Wolfowitz.

"There were concerns about the issue of whether he could continue as an effective leader of the World Bank, and we've been actively involved in the discussions and I hope they come to a conclusion that will work well for Mr. Wolfowitz and the bank today," Flaherty said.

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Wolfowitz to resign, World Bank says

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz will resign at the end of June, the bank's board announced Thursday, following allegations of conflict of interest over a big raise he arranged for his girlfriend.

"He 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 board said in its announcement of his resignation effective June 30.



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I was hoping that Wolfowitz wouldn't agree to resign, just so the World Bank would have fire his ass, which would be harsh, insulting, crushing, embarassing, and just the thing that he (and others like him, such as the rest of the Bush administration) need to be shown: there are consequences to actions.



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