Top deputy tells Wolfowitz to step down (AU)
By Lesley Wroughton
April 19, 2007 12:00

A deputy to Paul Wolfowitz urged the World Bank chief to resign in the interests of the institution during a meeting of the bank's management, sources who participated in the meeting said.

World Bank Managing Director Graeme Wheeler, a bank veteran named by Wolfowitz as one of his two deputies a year ago, raised the issue at a meeting of the bank's vice presidents.

Asked to comment, World Bank spokesman Marwan Muasher said: "I feel it is inappropriate to comment on private meetings."

Wheeler, a former World Bank treasurer who joined the bank from the New Zealand treasury, is widely respected in the institution.

He was one of the first career staffers Wolfowitz brought into his management team after he took the helm of the bank in 2005 and came under fire for surrounding himself with people he brought with him from the Pentagon and White House.

Wheeler could not be reached for comment.

The World Bank is reeling from a controversy over leaked documents that show Wolfowitz played a role in dictating the terms of a high-paying promotion for his companion and bank employee Shaha Riza, before she was moved by the bank in 2005 to the State Department because of their relationship.

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