Ex-IMF Official May Get $250K Taxpayer-Funded 'Golden Parachute'

Tuesday, 24 May 2011 03:54 PM

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The former head of the International Monetary Fund accused of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid is set to get a $250,000 “golden parachute” courtesy of the American taxpayer, according to Fox News.

The severance payment will go through unless U.S. lawmakers can stop it from landing in the French politician's bank account.

The IMF claims it has no discretion in the matter of Dominique Strauss-Khan, who was already pulling down nearly $500,000 as managing director when he resigned after being arrested in New York.

The one-time severance, along with a much smaller annual pension, was part of his contract.

Some GOP lawmakers are trying to exert pressure on an organization that has come under increased scrutiny over how its vast international resources are being used.

"The scandal at the IMF is putting that organization in the public eye again and American taxpayers -- who pay the largest share of the IMF's bills -- are raising a lot of important questions," Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., House Republican Conference vice chairwoman, told FoxNews.com in a written statement.

"What does it say about the IMF that its managing director has a higher annual salary than the president of the United States, that he stays at $3,000-per-night hotel rooms, and that he gets a quarter of a million dollars in severance pay while awaiting charges for [attempted] rape?" McMorris Rodgers asked.

Jim Specht, spokesman for House Appropriations Committee member Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., told Fox that his boss will request hearings in the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on the IMF directorship, and review what leverage the U.S. might have over operations. Lewis is a member of that subcommittee.

"He definitely wants to look at whether or not something can be done. If not now, certainly in the future," Specht said, adding that Lewis wants to know more about other perks enjoyed by Strauss-Kahn. He said Lewis doesn't want to cut off U.S. support for the IMF, but said the U.S. should have some control over the "behavior" of the agency’s leaders.

"The IMF isn't doing what it's really supposed to be doing ... creating economic opportunity in undeveloped countries," Specht said.

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