Tuesday, May 15, 2007

They Made Me Do It

It's their fault. I had to do it, you see. AP (05.15.07):
"World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, fighting accusations that threaten his job, has asserted that the bank's ethics committee forced him to play a direct role in engineering a hefty raise for his girlfriend because the panel was afraid to confront an 'extremely angry and upset' woman.

That argument -- contained in Wolfowitz's written response to a bank report released Monday that accuses him of ethics violations -- cast blame on the very group Wolfowitz approached for help in resolving a conflict of interest after he arrived at the bank in 2005."

Wolfowitz says panel forced him into pay raise role

"'Its members did not want to deal with a very angry Ms. Riza, whose career was being damaged as a result of their decision,' Wolfowitz said. 'It would only be human nature for them to want to steer clear of her.'"

It's her fault too. "Wolfowitz also blamed Riza for his predicament, saying that her 'intractable position' in demanding a salary increase as compensation for the disruption to her career forced him" to do it.

Some history of this sordid little affair. George nominated Paul to be president of the World Bank back in January, 2005. Prior to that, Paul had been dating Shaha Ali Riza, "a senior World Bank official". Conflict of interest rules prohibited the two from working at the Bank at the same time. Because Paul really wanted to be President of the Bank, and because Paul is Paul and all, Riza had to go.

He says that because the ethics committee "declined to oversee the necessary job transfer and compensation", it was up to him to resolve the conflict. And boy, did he resolve it.

He has claimed (and continues to claim) "that he had helped arrange a generous pay and promotion package for his companion soon after he became bank president in 2005 as 'a settlement of her potential claims' if she sued for being relocated against her will."

We now know that if he hadn't done it, Riza would have kicked his ass.



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