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Foul Play by Tomlinson and a Broken System at CPB Says Inspector

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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Inspector General Kenneth Konz released his report today. The 67-page report, which was presented in secret to the CPB Board of Directors nearly two weeks ago, finds:

- Former CPB Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson “violated his fiduciary responsibilities and statutory prohibitions against Board member involvement in programming decisions” in creating the “Journal Editorial Report.”

- The report found that “political tests” were a “major criteria” used by Tomlinson in recruiting Harrison in violation of “statutory prohibitions against such practices.”

- The report criticizes the secretive hiring of Republican operative Frederick Mann to monitor “Now with Bill Moyers” and other programs without authorization from the CPB board of directors.

- While the report concludes the violations were primarily the result of Tomlinson's "personal actions to accomplish his various initiatives," it also identifies "serious weaknesses" in the CPB's governance system.

Public interest groups Free Press, Common Cause and CDD are demanding that the CPB make public the “separate investigative report, along with specific evidence indication possible wrongdoing,” that Konz made available to the board as well as all additional documents provided to members of Congress.

Tomlinson stepped down from the CPB Board on Nov. 3 upon learning of the report’s findings. Tomlinson is also under investigation for misusing funds and hiring “ghost employees” as the current chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors -- which oversees the Voice of America and other “public diplomacy” programs.

The remaining leadership of the CPB have close ties the Bush administration. Halpern and Gaines are veteran GOP operatives and mega-fundraisers, who have praised Tomlinson for “his legitimate efforts to achieve balance and objectivity in public broadcasting.” Tomlinson’s hand-picked choice to run the CPB, Harrison, is a former chairwoman of the Republican Party who recently oversaw “public diplomacy” efforts at the State Department.

The full report is here.

Information on the the CPB, Patricia Harrison and history of this issue here.