Panel: Wolfowitz Broke World Bank Rules

World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz gestures as he addresses the media at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Wednesday, May 2, 2007.
AP
A special panel has found that World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz broke bank rules in arranging a pay package and promotion for his girlfriend, a person familiar with the report said Monday.

Wolfowitz was presented with the findings by the special bank panel investigating his handling of the 2005 promotion and pay raise of bank employee Shaha Riza.

The report was not made public, but the person familiar with its findings confirmed that violations were cited, though no details were provided. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the report has not yet been released.

World Bank officials were bracing for a finding that Wolfowitz may have breached ethics rules in arranging the pay package for Riza.

The controversy over Riza's pay package has spurred calls for Wolfowitz' resignation. He is fighting to hold onto his job.

The special panel, which has been meeting over the last several weeks, met again Monday and has sent a report of its findings to Wolfowitz, according to people familiar with the probe.

The developments come as a top adviser to Wolfowitz, Kevin Kellems, said he is leaving the institution.

"Given the current environment surrounding the leadership of the World Bank Group, it is very difficult to be effective in helping to advance the mission of the institution. Therefore, I have decided to leave for other opportunities," Kellems told The Associated Press on Monday.

Wolfowitz had tapped Kellems, who came from the White House and worked with him previously at the Defense Department, to become his adviser at the poverty-fighting institution. Kellems' arrival in June 2005 eventually touched off criticism among staff that Wolfowitz was sealing himself off with a small cadre of trusted advisers.

Among the things the special panel has been looking at is whether Wolfowitz violated bank rules, including conflict-of-interest rules, in getting involved in Riza's promotion and compensation package.

The bank's 24-member board will decide what action should be taken, if any. A decision is expected soon.