The GSA Scandal, GSA’s Dan Tangherlini Has a Messagefor the Nation
On Monday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committeeheld its first hearingintothe General Services Administration’s (GSA) Las Vegas spending extravaganza. Martha Johnson,head of GSA, testified, while Jeff Neely, the organizer of the Western Regions Conference, “took the fifth.”At the hearing, Martha Johnson, who assumed the agency's leadership in February 2010,apologized to the American Peoplefor the inappropriate expenditure of tax payer’s money.But on the flip side,Jeff Neely only had one response: “Mr. Chairman, on the advice of mycounsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privileges.”Others who testified at the hearing were GSA Inspector General Brian Miller, Chief of Staff Michael Robertson, and David Foley, deputy commissioner of the Public Buildings Service.According to USA Today,in July 2011, Deputy Commissioner Susan Brita, in an e-mail to RobertPeck, commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, admonished Vegas conference expenditures“… for a clown suit, bicycles used for a team-building exercise, tuxedos and a mind-reader” sayingthey “didn't lend themselves to the claim of a substantive conference.” She also questioned whyJeffrey Neely, received only a disciplinary letter that “is not even a slap on the wrist.”As a result, on April 2, GSA Inspector General Brian Miller reported on the October 2010 LasVegas conference that cost taxpayers $823,000, which led to the outrage and congressionalhearings.Since then, Martha Johnson has resigned, Robert Peck resigned and another deputy fired, and up to10 other employees have been placed on administrative leave. I am sure “other heads will roll” asthe investigation continues.Inexplicably, despite the fact that he wanted an“over the top” Vegas conference, Jeff Neely is on paid administrative leave and received a $9,000 bonus performance award.
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The GSA Scandal, GSA’s Dan Tangherlini Has a Message for the Nation
On Monday was the first congressional hearing into GSA’s Las Vegas extravaganza. Martha Johnson, head of GSA. testified, while Jeff Neely, the organizer, takes the fifth. Dan Tangherlini acting GSA Administrator has an encouraging message.