Barofsky to resign from SIGTARP
Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, said that he plans to resign come March 30, and "pursue other opportunities." Barofsky was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in late 2008 to serve as head of the Office of the Special Inspector General of TARP. Both SIGTARP and TARP were created by the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. SIGTARP was designed to fulfill three main goals: to build a robust law enforcement agency to catch and deter individuals who sought to profit criminally from TARP; to ensure transparency to taxpayers in the operation of TARP; and to provide effective oversight of the government's decision-making process to minimize instances of waste, fraud and abuse. "I believe that SIGTARP has met each of these goals," Barofsky said in his letter of resignation to President Obama. "With my initial goals met and with these particular accomplishments in mind, and after more than 10 years in continuous government service, I believe that it is the right time for me to step down and pursue other opportunities." Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) commended Barofsky on his work as special inspector general, and said it is essential his successor pick up right where he left off. "The passage of TARP signaled a pivotal moment at a time of great uncertainty and no one has been more dedicated to protecting the American people’s tax-dollars from waste, fraud and abuse than Neil Barofsky," Issa said in a statement. "It is imperative that whoever is nominated by the President to serve as the next SIGTARP demonstrates the same type of vigilance, courage and commitment to transparency that Neil Barofsky brought to this job every day." In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Barofsky said it will be difficult for him to walk away from his current position. However, he commented that he is excited to take the lessons he's learned through his tenure with SIGTARP and apply them to other areas of business. "We provide an agreed-upon set of facts. That's the greatest public service," Barofsky told the WSJ. "You can succeed in this town, and it goes against conventional wisdom, by never spinning. There's a thirst and a need for it." Write to Christine Ricciardi. Follow her on Twitter @HWnewbieCR.