Official Statements of Shaha Riza and Paul Wolfowitz

Clarice Feldman has the statements of Riza and Wolfowitz. Read them and then remind me how this ever became a scandal. Here is an excerpt from the Wolfowitz statement:

When I came to the World Bank, I tried in good faith to resolve the potential conflict of interest caused by my pre-existing, personal relationship with Shaha Riza:

0 I disclosed my relationship with Ms. Riza.

0 I proposed that I would recuse myself from all personnel matters concerning her.

0 The issue was submitted to the Ethics Committee.

The Committee decided that recusal was insufficient.

0 The Committee decided that Ms. Riza should be relocated outside the Bank, over her objections.

0 The Committee also said she should receive a promotion that she was due, before she was relocated, and also that the terms of her forced departure should recognize the damage this would do to her “career perspectives.”

0 The Committee members did not want to implement this plan themselves, however, because they said they could not (‘interact directly with staff member situations.”

0 They also told me – over my strong and repeated objections – that I would have to be the one to work with Human Resources to get it done.

0 At the time, I understood the Committee was the final arbiter of ethics questions, so I followed their advice, even though I questioned it.

0 The agreement reached with Ms. Riza was in line with other World Bank settlement agreements and was consistent with the goals that the Ethics Committee set out for treating her fairly in difficult and unprecedented circumstances.

0 The Committee reviewed the resolution of this matter on two occasions and determined that it was “consistent with the Committee’s findings and advice” and that the conflict of interest had been “dealt with appropriately.”

I find it inconceivable that the Ethics Committee did not know the details of the arrangements with Ms. Riza. The information certainly was available to them and I assume they were not negligent in their duties. Update: Here’s the real scandal.

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