Wolfowitz to Resign Today
Kirit Radia and Brian Ross report that Paul Wolfowitz will resign as president of the World Bank later this afternoon.
World Bank officials say the bank’s board is completing an “exit strategy” that will allow World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz to resign this afternoon and “still save some face” over the issue of his efforts to seek a promotion and pay raise for his girlfriend at the bank. The officials say the bank’s board will accept Wolfowitz’s resignation but will also acknowledge that the World Bank’s Ethics Committee bears “some responsibility” for giving him bad advice on the issue of his girlfriend.
The decision is likely today, officials say, because Wolfowitz had been scheduled to leave tonight for a European trip.
Wolfowitz has handled the matter very poorly, both internally and externally, and his eventual resignation was a foregone conclusion. Indeed, I predicted on another site that he would resign over the weekend in the face of mounting scandal and being literally booed off the stage by his subordinates; that was a month ago.
The irony is that, while Wolfowitz has many faults, his conduct vis-a-vis Shaha Riza’s employment status appears to have been perfectly above board. That the Ethics Committee bears “some responsibility” here wildly understates their near-total culpability. This was not, however, Wolfowitz’ first rodeo. He should have had a better understanding of rules by which the “appearance of impropriety” game is played.