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GOP's Grassley Faults Small's Smithsonian Stewardship
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Leadership; Investigations; Conflicts of interest
Author: Adriane Quinlan - Washington Post Staff Writer
Date: Jun 10, 2006
Start Page: C.01
Section: STYLE

The letter is the latest in a series of clashes between Congress and the Smithsonian. [Charles E. Grassley] cited "Small's involvement in the extensive financial fraud" reported by federal regulators at Fannie Mae (the Federal National Mortgage Association), where [Lawrence M. Small] worked before moving to the Smithsonian in 2000. Grassley also noted that the museum's finances and executive compensation packages are being scrutinized by the Smithsonian's Office of the Inspector General.

In his letter to OMB Director Rob Portman, Grassley asked that the Smithsonian's Board of Regents, its governing body, appoint the new inspector general. In the past, the Smithsonian's secretary has chosen the inspector general.

Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas said yesterday the Smithsonian had not yet received the letter. But she added that Grassley's fears that Small would have total control over the choice of [Debra S. Ritt]'s replacement are unfounded. She said that a search committee of high-ranking Smithsonian executives would produce a list of candidates, who would be interviewed by Small as well as the audit and review committee of the Board of Regents.

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