World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz violated the agency’s ethics rules when he arranged a pay increase and a promotion for his companion, a panel of directors has concluded, according to a bank official.
Wolfowitz has been given the report and will have a chance to respond, said the official, who declined to be identified because the report hasn’t been made public. The findings will later be presented to the bank’s full 24-member board, which has the authority to dismiss or reprimand him. Wolfowitz’s attorney, Robert Bennett, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
The finding increases the odds that the former U.S. deputy defense secretary will be the first World Bank chief in the agency’s more than 60-year history to resign under fire or be dismissed. Kevin Kellems, a senior strategist for Wolfowitz and a lighting rod for complaints the bank chief used his office to promote U.S. foreign policy, resigned today, saying the controversy had made it “very difficult to be effective.”
“I believe the bank can only do good work if it has a good and sound reputation,” Dutch Finance Minister Wouter Bos told reporters in Brussels today. “I am concerned about its reputation.”
Policy makers in France, the U.K., Germany and Switzerland have also been critical of Wolfowitz, saying the controversy had hobbled his credibility. President George W. Bush, who appointed him in 2005, has stood by Wolfowitz, 63.