A former senior U.S. Justice Department official who is now the U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency's inspector general has secured President Barack Obama's backing to serve as the U.S. State Department's watchdog.
Obama on Thursday nominated Steve Linick to be the State Department's inspector general just hours after the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously approved a resolution urging the president to quickly pick someone for the post.
U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the top Republican on the panel, earlier this month also sent Obama a letter calling on him to make a State Department inspector general nomination soon. The State Department hasn't had a Senate-confirmed inspector general since 2008.
The Senate in 2010 confirmed Linick to serve as the Federal Housing Finance Agency's first-ever inspector general. At FHFA, Linick oversees the agency's regulation of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the dozen federal home loan banks. In 2011, his office put out a report that sharply criticized FHFA managers for endorsing a $1.35 billion settlement in 2010 with Bank of America for selling shoddy mortgages to Freddie Mac, saying the deal might have shortchanged taxpayers billions of dollars.
Before he joined the agency, Linick spent more than 15 years at DOJ. His last posts at the Justice Department were executive director of the National Procurement Fraud Task Force and deputy chief of the Criminal Division Fraud Section. He oversaw the investigation and prosecution of procurement and mortgage fraud, among other matters.
He formerly served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and the Central District of California.