Committee members from both parties could barely restrain themselves as they sometimes shouted their outrage over the spending. They not only raged on about the overall figure, but at specific taxpayer expenditures for a mind-reader, over-priced commemorative coins, bicycles for a team-building exercise and trips by GSA employees and their family members to the Las Vegas strip.
The General Services Administration investigator who revealed a wild agency spending spree said Monday he’s investigating possible bribery and kickbacks, and has already recommended criminal charges to the Justice Department. The key figure in the scandal invoked his right to remain silent at the House hearing.
Inspector General Brian Miller made clear that he’s not done investigating GSA current and former officials, following his lengthy report April 2 on an October 2010 Las Vegas conference that cost taxpayers $823,000.
The regional executive who hosted the Western Regions Conference, Jeffrey Neely, invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and his chair remained empty the rest of the House Oversight and Government Reform hearing. He could face a criminal investigation.
“We do have other ongoing investigations including all sorts of improprieties, including bribes, possibly kickbacks but I’d have to check precisely on kickbacks,” Miller told the committee.
He added later, “We have recommended criminal charges.”