Clark Kent Ervin out as DHS IG

Clark Kent Ervin out as DHS IG

The White House has decided not to reappoint Clark Kent Ervin as inspector general for the Homeland Security Department.

In nearly two years on the job, Ervin earned a reputation as a blunt critic of DHS.

'This actually is being done through the White House,' said a former DHS official who requested anonymity because he continues to work with the department.

Ervin received a recess appointment to the IG role in December 2003, after serving as acting IG since January of that year. 'They're just not keeping him. They feel he has not been a friend of the department,' the official said. As a recess appointment, Ervin's term will end when this session of Congress adjourns.

Ervin's office has issued highly critical reports on several programs at DHS. In October, for instance, one criticized the department for failing to take charge of the effort to combine the federal government's numerous terrorist watch lists. Department officials were unhappy with the critique, claiming that the Justice Department has primary responsibility for the consolidation of the watch lists.

Yesterday, Ervin appeared on a National Public Radio talk show and expressed his desire to stay on the job.

'I'd very much like to [stay] and we'll see about that at the expiration of my recess appointment,' he told show host Tavis Smiley. 'I've really enjoyed the work.'

In what might have been Ervin's last official act, the Office of Inspector General released two reports Dec. 8, excerpted from the DHS Performance and Accountability Report for fiscal 2004: "Independent Auditors' Report of DHS' FY 2004 Financial Statements" and "Major Management Challenges Facing the Department of Homeland Security".

The deputy IG, Richard L. Skinner, has assumed duties as acting IG.

Spokesmen at the White House and DHS were not immediately available for comment.

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