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US State Department inspector general resigns

[JURIST] US State Department officials Friday announced the resignation of State Department Inspector General Howard Krongard [official profile], following a long controversy over allegations that he obstructed inquiries that could harm the Bush administration. Last month, Krongard testified before the US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee [official website] and denied allegations [opening statement, PDF] that he politicized the Inspector General's Office. The allegations brought against Krongard [Oversight Committee report, PDF] included claims that he blocked investigations of fraud and mismanaged spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, and interfered with a Justice Department investigation into whether Blackwater USA [corporate website; JURIST news archive] was smuggling weapons into Iraq. Concerns were also raised that Krongard had a conflict of interest in the Blackwater case, as his brother serves on Blackwater's advisory board [invitation, PDF]. Reuters has more.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced [JURIST report] its investigation into Krongard in September. At that time, Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) [official profile] sent notice to Krongard asking for his cooperation, but the committee report notes that Krongard refused to provide requested documents, even after the committee issued a subpoena for them. In addition, employees of the Inspector General's Office have said that Krongard's congressional liaison Terry Heide told them that they could lose their jobs [Post report] if they cooperated with the committee's investigation. Heide admitted to the committee that she had made statements to that effect, but denied they were meant to intimidate witnesses.

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