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GSA Chief Resigns After Las Vegas Scandal

From a dismayed (at all the hubbub) Washington Post:

GSA chief resigns amid reports of excessive spending

By Lisa Rein and Joe Davidson, Published: April 2, 2012

The chief of the General Services Administration [Martha N. Johnson,] resigned [and] two of her top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on leave Monday amid reports of lavish spending at a conference off the Las Vegas Strip that featured a clown, a mind reader and a $31,208 reception

It sounds like a typical bureaucrat shindig to us. Except, perhaps, the omission of strippers.

Public Buildings Service chief Robert A. Peck, a fixture in the Washington area real estate community on his second stint running the department, was forced out, along with Johnson’s top adviser, Stephen Leeds. Four GSA managers who organized the four-day conference in October 2010 have been placed on adminstrative [sic] leave, officials said.

So only two people have been fired. Compare and contrast to how this would be handled in the private sector, and you can see why government is so wasteful.

Still, why not live it up? It’s not their money. And these hardworking bureaucrats probably only make about $175,000 a year, plus health benefits and a lavish retirement pension.

The leadership collapse came hours before GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller released a scathing report on the $823,000 training conference, held for 300 West Coast employees at the M Resort and Casino, an opulent hotel in Henderson, Nev., just south of Las Vegas. From $130,000 in travel expenses for six scouting trips to a $2,000 party in Peck’s loft suite, event planners violated federal limits on conference spending.

Because you need six scouting trips to arrange for a meeting in Vegas.

The episode is an embarrassment for the Obama administration at a time when the role and size of government have taken center stage in the presidential campaign…

The White House, which has led a campaign against government waste, was alerted in March to the year-long investigation…

We all know how much Obama hates government waste and especially extravagant vacations.

Obama “was outraged by the excessive spending, questionable dealings with contractors, and disregard for taxpayer dollars,” Lew said in a statement to The Washington Post, calling for “all those responsible to be held fully accountable.”

Which is why a whopping two bureaucrats have been fired. (Probably to be quietly rehired somewhere else in the government.)

Johnson will be replaced by Dan Tangherlini, the Treasury Department’s assistant secretary for management, a widely respected manager who was city administrator for the District and acting director of Metro

Because, Allah knows, Washington DC never wastes money.

Among the “excessive, wasteful and in some cases impermissable [sic]” spending the inspector general documented: $5,600 for three semi-private catered in-room parties and $44 per person daily breakfasts; $75,000 for a “team-building” exercise — the goal was to build a bicycle; $146,000 on catered food and drinks; and $6,325 on commemorative coins in velvet boxes to reward all participants for their work on stimulus projects. The $31,208 “networking” reception featured a $19-per-person artisanal cheese display and $7,000 of sushi. At the conference’s closing-night dinner, employees received “yearbooks” with their pictures, at a cost of $8,130

It sounds like a typical government junket to me. Has anybody looked at one of Nancy Pelosi’s trips lately?

Johnson once served as an executive recruiter for the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company and most recently was a senior vice president at the Computer Sciences Corp. She served stints at the GSA and the Commerce Department during the Clinton administration…

Imagine, a Ben & Jerry’s lefty being so corrupt or incompetent.

Still, wouldn’t it be nice if people were hired for their ability instead of their politics?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “GSA Chief Resigns After Las Vegas Scandal”

  1. AcornsRNutz says:

    This is of course to say nothing about the piles of hybrid cars the GSA has purchased to replace gas powered cars with nothing wrong with them, and then handed out by the drovesto federal employees. I mean, all that wasted money is actually the day to day GSA operation.

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