Inspector number 3.
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WASHINGTON – The inspector general of Amtrak unexpectedly resigned Thursday night, becoming the third such federal official to leave prematurely since the Obama administration took office and the latest in a string of potentially controversial moves involving government watchdogs.

Fred E. Weiderhold, a 35-year veteran of the agency who was responsible for rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse, is the most high-profile change among the group of senior government officials who have responsibility to conduct independent investigations of federal agencies and institutions.

“As Amtrak’s first and only Inspector General, Fred has made important contributions in helping the Board of Directors understand key issues facing the railroad and made useful recommendations to improve how we do business,’’ Amtrak chairman Thomas Carper said in a statement yesterday. “We thank him for his dedicated service to Amtrak and wish him well in his retirement.’’