Thursday, January 05, 2006


Michael C. Sulllivan (Media Photo)

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At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Bloomberg said...

James G. Neuger and Christopher Swann
April 13 (Bloomberg) -- World Bank directors pledged a speedy decision on President Paul Wolfowitz's fate after finding that Wolfowitz personally dictated the terms of a promotion and pay raise for a woman with whom he had an intimate relationship.
Wolfowitz yesterday apologized for his role in promoting and arranging a salary increase for the staffer, Shaha Riza, and said he would accept whatever ``remedies'' are proposed by the international lender's board.
Wolfowitz, an aide to then U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in the runup to the Iraq war, was named to the World Bank post by President George W. Bush in 2005.
Bush retains confidence in the World Bank president, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters at a briefing today.
``Yes, the president has confidence in Paul Wolfowitz and his work at the World Bank,'' Perino said. She said Wolfowitz has worked ``to lift people out of poverty around the world.''
Riza's promotion came with a pay increase that was more than double the amount allowed by staff rules, according to the Staff Association. She later received an annual increase of 7.5 percent, also larger than rules allow.
``I made a mistake, for which I am sorry,'' Wolfowitz said yesterday. He acknowledged the need to reorganize his personal office, where aides have been criticized for a lack of expertise in development economics and for ties to the Republican Party.
Wolfowitz's tenure was already marked by discord. He raised hackles among staff members over plans to beef up the bank's presence in Baghdad, and his drive to fight corruption among the bank's borrowers prompted concern that aid intended to help the poor might be halted.
The World Bank was founded in 1944 to provide financing for the reconstruction of Europe after World War II, and it has since changed its mission to focus on fighting poverty. It lends about $23 billion a year.
The bank's president is nominated by the White House for a five-year term and must be a U.S. citizen.

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