Sidelined Pentagon watchdog resigns

By Tony Bertuca / May 26, 2020 at 11:47 AM

Glenn Fine, who previously served as acting Defense Department inspector general, announced today he is resigning from his post.

Fine's resignation comes amid fierce criticism of President Trump, who has removed several inspectors general in a matter of weeks.

Last month, Fine, who served as acting DOD IG since 2016, was ordered to revert to the position of principal deputy inspector general, while Sean O'Donnell, the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general, came to the Pentagon to serve as the acting DOD IG in addition to his current duties at EPA.

The move, while not technically a demotion, effectively sidelined Fine after he had been chosen by a government panel to oversee a $2 trillion COVID-19 rescue package passed by Congress.

Today, Fine, who was previously the longest-serving Justice Department IG, said in a statement that it has been his honor to serve the "inspector general community."

"The role of Inspectors General is a strength of our system of government," he said. "They provide independent oversight to help improve government operations in a transparent way. They are a vital component of our system of checks and balances, and I am grateful to have been part of that system. After many years in the DOJ and DOD OIGs, I believe the time has come for me to step down and allow others to perform this vital role. I wish the men and women of the DOD OIG and the Inspector General Community continued success in these important responsibilities."

Meanwhile, Trump has nominated Jason Abend, who currently serves as senior policy adviser at United States Customs and Border Protection, to be the new DOD inspector general.