Politics

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Wolfowitz Quits World Bank

May 21, 2007 01:46 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Former deputy of defense and architect of the Iraq War Paul Wolfowitz tenders his resignation as bank head; his presidency, problematic from the start, grew increasingly troubled amid the controversy over his girlfriend's pay increase.

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On May 17, Wolfowitz declared that it was in the World Bank’s best interests that he resign, effective June 30, 2007.

For several weeks, an internal investigation had considered the propriety of the transfer settlement Wolfowitz arranged for his partner, Shaha Riza. She was a bank employee at the time Wolfowitz became president in 2005. On his appointment, bank officials decided Riza would have to leave the bank's employ.

In his resignation statement, Wolfowitz expressed satisfaction with the bank’s assessment that he “acted ethically and in good faith.”

The World Bank concluded that “a number of mistakes were made by a number of individuals.”

Wolfowitz had found Riza a new position outside the bank, at the U.S. State Department. Along with that transfer came a $60,000 raise. Critics said that the award of such a favorable deal breached the bank’s code of conduct.

However, in 2005 Wolfowitz had asked that he not be involved in negotiating Riza’s settlement. The World Bank refused that request.

From the word go, the appointment of Rumsfeld's former deputy as bank president had been unpopular with many of the staff. Some employees have said that his dictatorial behavior compromised the bank's operation.

Wolfowitz’s defenders argue that he reduced wasteful bureaucracy. His supporters say he is now being punished for his close ties to the Bush administration.

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