GSA deputy testifies in spending scandal

April 17, 2012 at 3:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- The official who first brought attention to the General Services Administration's excessive spending expressed "anger and disappointment" in testimony Tuesday.

At the House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee hearing on the $823,000 cost of a 2010 conference in Las Vegas, Deputy Commissioner Susan Brita, supporting the government's investigation, said she shares "your anger and disappointment in GSA's conduct."

Brita initially told Robert Peck, former commissioner of the Public Buildings Service, of her objections to the conference, and has aided in Inspector General Brian Miller's investigation of the GSA. Peck was fired from the agency after the resignation of Administrator Martha Johnson.

One other deputy has been fired and 10 other GSA employees have been placed on administrative leave, the Los Angeles Times said Tuesday.

Miller's report on the conference itemized expenses that included $130,000 spent on "scouting trips" and "planning meetings," $6,325 spent on souvenir medallions and $8,130 on commemorative books.

The extravagance of the conference has caused outrage among subcommittee members.

"This is about the waste of taxpayer dollars, and if you can sense my anger and frustration, you should see it at home, where we have double-digit unemployment," Chairman Jeff Denham, R-Calif., said Tuesday.

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