Lawmakers ask Bush to fire Tomlinson

WASHINGTON — Three lawmakers called on President Bush to fire Kenneth Tomlinson from his post as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, claiming an internal investigation revealed misconduct.

Tomlinson, who was ousted last year from his job as chairman of the Corp. for Public Broadcasting amid allegations of partisan interference with pubcasting, hired a personal friend as a consultant to BBG, a State Dept. entity, paying him $250,000 of agency funds without telling other board members, a State Dept. inspector general concluded.

Tomlinson also “used BBG resources in support of his own horse racing operation,” requested compensation in excess of the amount allowed him, and directed BBG staff to work on personal matters for him, the inspector general wrote.

Reps. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) and Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) requested the investigation last year. The inspector general delivered the results of the investigation to them on Monday, and on Tuesday they jointly wrote Bush, calling for Tomlinson to be fired.

“The results of the IG investigation show that Mr. Tomlinson stepped well beyond (established) boundaries and violated public trust,” the lawmakers wrote. “As such, we urge you to immediately remove Mr. Tomlinson from his position, and take all necessary steps to restore the integrity of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.”

BBG oversees governmental media operations, such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, aimed at foreign audiences.

Tomlinson could not be reached for comment.

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