Bailout watchdog Barofsky to resign

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Neil Barofsky, the top auditor for the financial bailout program, said Monday he is resigning.

Barofsky is the Special Inspector General for TARP – overseeing the $700 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. He is stepping down March 30 after serving as Special IG two years, Barofsky announced in a letter to President Obama (scroll down).

Barofsky built an organization of more than 140 auditors, investigators, attorneys and other staffing, Reuters reports.

Authority for new spending programs under TARP ended last October and the Treasury Department is working on winding down its investments in financial firms and automakers.

Barofsky’s deputy, Christy Romero, will take over on an interim basis, Reuters says.

In a statement Monday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said, “The fact of the matter is the work that Mr. Barofsky has begun is far from complete. It is imperative that the next IG pick-up immediately where Mr. Barofsky left off.”

Issa said more than $150 billion in TARP funds remain outstanding with close to $60 billion still available to be spent.