The World Bank's board said yesterday that it has ordered an ad hoc group of its members to "urgently" conduct a far-reaching investigation into bank President Paul D. Wolfowitz's involvement in arranging the compensation and promotion package for his companion, who is also a bank employee.
The board did not set a timeframe for the committee's deliberations, but bank officials said an announcement could come as early as next week. The board has also postponed a nine-day trip to Mongolia and the Philippines set to start next week, bank officials said . . .
The board, which met for more than nine hours on Thursday and early yesterday, widened the investigation beyond the possible violations of staff rules committed by Wolfowitz when he outlined a transfer and career plan for Shaha Riza, a woman to whom he is romantically linked . . .
Wolfowitz worked out the details of her compensation and directed the personnel manager to implement them. They included a promotion and a salary increase, plus a guaranteed increase for each of the next five years and another promotion upon her return, pending endorsement by a panel that Riza would approve of . . .
"In addition, the group will examine "issues around employment contracts made in the Office of the President," an apparent reference to Wolfowitz's highly paid aides, Robin Cleveland and Kevin Kellems. At a meeting with bank managers this week, Wolfowitz offered to fire or rein in Kellems and Cleveland, who are unpopular with many bank staffers.
The Post article comments on this YouTube video clip parodying Wolfowitz' intra-office romance with one that occurred on the comedy show, "The Office." "Bank staffers said that the situation has become a distraction, with internal comment boards filled with messages, most favoring Wolfowitz's resignation, the Post wrote. "The message board yesterday included a link to a YouTube video splicing scenes from the sitcom "The Office" with workers gossiping about the boss's sex life and Wolfowitz defending his action." The YouTube clip has been viewed more than 65,000 times.