Commerce Inspector General Quits

By John Solomon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 8, 2007

Commerce Department Inspector General Johnnie E. Frazier retired yesterday in the face of multiple investigations and a formal report recommending that President Bush punish him for violating the whistle-blower protection law.

Frazier, who since 1999 has served as the department's chief watchdog responsible for investigating waste, fraud and abuse, told the administration that he is retiring effective June 29, congressional and White House officials said.

He did not respond to a phone call or an e-mail seeking comment.

The Washington Post reported last month that Congress, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the President's Council on Integrity and Efficiency were investigating allegations by subordinates that Frazier misspent money, abused government travel and retaliated against employees who raised concerns. Frazier disputed the allegations.

But the special counsel's office, which protects whistle-blowers, concluded that Frazier illegally demoted two subordinates who were witnesses in an investigation. The counsel urged Bush to punish Frazier.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said there was no immediate comment. The House Commerce Committee said it is expanding its investigation to other managers.

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