- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 12, 2010

D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent C. Gray hailed Amtrak executive Lorraine Green’s more than 25 years of government and private-sector experience when he put her in charge of both his campaign and transition team.

But within days of Mr. Gray beating Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in the mayoral race, a little-noticed congressional report raised sharp questions about Ms. Green in connection with the controversial dismissal of a longtime former Amtrak inspector general.

Republicans say former Inspector General Fred Weiderhold was forced out of his job after issuing a series of reports that uncovered waste and fraud in Amtrak’s executive ranks.

After Mr. Weiderhold’s abrupt departure, Amtrak officials tapped Ms. Green, head of human resources at Amtrak, which has about 19,000 employees, to be interim inspector general. During her months in the interim job, congressional investigators said Ms. Green delayed the release of a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) that scrutinized the very Human Resources Department she oversaw at Amtrak.

In addition, she also impeded a salary increase for one of the OIG employees involved in the human resources report, according to findings released by Sen. Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa, ranking Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

**FILE** Vincent C. Gray (Associated Press)
**FILE** Vincent C. Gray (Associated Press) more >

In the report, the lawmakers also concluded that Ms. Green was a poor choice by Amtrak’s Board of Directors for the interim inspector general’s position.

“The board’s actions following its removal of Weiderhold exacerbated the appearance that it was inappropriately attempting to control the OIG,” investigators wrote in the report.

“The board appointed Lorraine Green as interim IG, who, as the vice president for human resources, was a member of Amtrak’s management team and intended to return to the position.

“Her inherent conflicts of interest, lack of independence and lack of IG experience rendered her an inappropriate choice for the position,” the report said.

The report portrays Ms. Green as doing Amtrak management’s bidding.

Once named the interim inspector general, at the request of Amtrak management, Ms. Green hired three outside consultants for three months to interview OIG employees as part a review.

One employee told investigators that some felt like they were reinterviewing for their jobs.

Through an Amtrak spokesman, Ms. Green declined to comment on the report. And a spokeswoman for the Gray transition team did not respond to questions e-mailed by The Washington Times last week.

Even as Ms. Green was put in charge of both Mr. Gray’s mayoral campaign and his transition team, she has continued to oversee human resources for the government-owned rail company, which reported more than $1.6 billion in salary and wage expenses in 2009.

An Amtrak spokesman said officials cleared Ms. Green to accept the positions in the Gray campaign and transition team.

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