Investigators at the U.S. Corporation for Public Broadcasting say they found evidence that former chairman Kenneth Tomlinson violated a federal law and the corporation's code of ethics.

In a report released Tuesday, the corporation's inspector general, Kenneth Konz, says there is evidence Mr. Tomlinson used "political tests" as a major criteria in hiring the corporation's president, who held previous senior posts in the Bush administration and the Republican Party.

The report says he also broke statutory provisions by dealing directly with the creator of a conservative-leaning public affairs show.

The CPB, which funnels government money to commercial-free radio and television, such as National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service, was set up in part to shield public broadcasting from political influence.

Mr. Tomlinson, a Republican, has been a strong critic of public broadcasting, saying it exhibits a liberal bias. He rejected the report's conclusions, calling them "malicious and irresponsible."

Mr. Tomlinson is currently head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which supervises U.S. overseas broadcasting, including the Voice of America.

Some information for this report provided by AP.