Library of Congress to Inspector General — Shhh!

Library of Congress to Inspector General -- Shhh!

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has accused the Library of Congress of trying to silence its own Inspector General and quash internal investigation of waste, fraud, abuse, and other crime, reports  As another source puts it, “Grassley Throws Book at Library of Congress.”

The Senator sent a stern letter to Librarian of Congress Billington, including emails from LOC Chief Operating Officer Jo Ann C. Jenkins to Inspector General Karl Schornagel criticizing his investigations:  “Why does the IG feel it necessary to get publicity on this? This does nothing but highlight the issue in the press.” Ms. Jenkins, who suggested softening  the “negative” language of the IG’s  report to Congress, seems to have mistaken IG Karl Schornagel, a CPA and highly-experienced auditor, for her PR flack.

Mr. Billington praised Jo Ann Jenkins for her “”highly-honed political skills and exceptional judgment” when elevating her from his Chief of Staff to the Library’s COO in 2006. Ms. Jenkins came to the LOC in 1994 as a special assistant in the Office of the Librarian, and had been a Fannie Mae consultant, director of the USDA Office of Advocacy, and special assistant to Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole.

Senator Grassley is a champion of Federal IG indepence and greater scutiny of nonprofits as well as government agencies. We mention this because the current Librarian of Congress, Ronald Reagan appointee Dr. James Billington, is responsible for populating the Library with a luxury assortment of plushy private funds, centers and councils opaque to scrutiny, ripe for abuse, and prone to excessive and expensive events not quite in keeping with government operations even when the economy is sound.


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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