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Diplomat resigns after critical report
|Last Edited||IndyEurope Apr 18, 2011 11:59am|
|News Date||Monday, April 18, 2011 07:00:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||A U.S. ambassador has offered the Obama administration his resignation after he was accused of spending too much time writing and speaking about his Roman Catholic beliefs to the detriment of his diplomatic duties. |
In letters to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent late last week, Douglas Kmiec, the ambassador to Malta and a legal scholar, said he would leave his post on Aug. 15.
His decision to step down comes just days after the State Department’s inspector general issued an audit asserting that Kmiec spent too much of his time expressing his religious views and not enough doing his job representing the United States in the island nation off the southern coast of Italy.
“I doubt very much whether one could ever spend too much time on this subject,” Kmiec wrote in his letter to the president, defending his focus on religious issues. It was provided to the Times of Malta, the Los Angeles Times and The Associated Press, among other outlets.
A former Reagan and Bush administration lawyer and Pepperdine University law school professor, Kmiec became an unexpected Obama backer during the 2008 presidential race and was awarded the ambassadorship for his support.
Kmiec’s resignation comes less than three months after Cynthia Stroum, a major Obama fundraiser, stepped down as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg after a State Department audit found her to be “aggressive, bullying, hostile and intimidating.” Some Embassy staff members had requested transfers to Iraq and Afghanistan.