Monday, Feb 23, 2009
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama plans to announce Monday a former Secret Service agent who helped expose lobbyists’ corruption at the Interior Department as his pick to oversee the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.
Obama is set to name Earl Devaney as chairman of the new Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board, an administration official said Sunday. Vice President Joe Biden also will be given a role coordinating oversight of stimulus spending.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House had not made public the announcement.
Devaney, the inspector general of the Interior Department, helped turn up disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s dealings at the department. The department’s No. 2 official, Steven Griles, pleaded guilty to charges he lied during congressional testimony based in part on Devaney’s investigation.
Obama has pledged the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board will be an at-large body to oversee how the government spends billions allocated to help the flailing U.S. economy. But with dozens of agencies and departments involved, Obama wanted a central group to independently monitor where those funds are going.