The head of the Department of Energy’s loans department has stepped down amid a broadening investigation into the bankruptcy of solar cop many Solyndra.
USA Today reports that the DOE official, Jonathan Silver, resigned to take a position with a think tank in the private sector. DOE officials said that Silver was resigning for reasons unrelated to Solyndra, though the timing comes as House and FBI investigators are widening their probes into the agency’s decision to grant a $534 million federal loan to the solar panel manufacturer, despite concerns about the company’s financial solvency.
Silver did not preside over the loan’s office when the DOE approved the funding for Solyndra, but he was called before the House to testify about that loan, and has faced intense scrutiny over the DOE’s loan program.
Solyndra’s bankruptcy — and the subsequent FBI investigation into the company’s accounting practices, have become a huge stain on one of President Obama’s hallmark green jobs programs.
“In early July, shortly after the fiscal year 2011 budget was completed by Congress and it became clear that no significant new funds were included for the loan program, Jonathan Silver informed me that he intended to return to the private sector shortly after September 30, the statutory end-date of the 1705 loan guarantee program,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in a statement.
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