GSA scandal continues to grow

Politico reports that “[t]he General Services Administration official tasked with organizing a now-infamous $822,000 Las Vegas conference plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights ahead of a scheduled Monday grilling on the Hill. On Thursday, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) served a subpoena to require Jeff Neely to appear before the committee, according to Democratic committee documents obtained by Politico. Neely’s attorney on Friday informed the committee Neely will exercise his right against self-incrimination and requested not to attend the hearing.”

Meanwhile, U.S. News and World Report is reporting that GSA provided incorrect data to Politico in an attempt to make the Bush Administration look bad:

The Obama Administration took swift action against the General Services Administration for its excessive frill-filled conference reaffirming that there is no place for clowns and mind readers in official government business.

But an anonymous source provided numbers to the news outlet Politico last week, floating the idea that the opulence of the GSA Western Region Conference had its roots in the Bush administration.

The source turned over documents to Politico showing that from 2004 to 2006 the cost of the conference ballooned by nearly 250 percent from $93,000 to $323,855.

But the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform says that whomever provided those numbers from the Obama administration fibbed.

“Instead of costs going up 248 percent between 2004 and 2006 as had been claimed, costs were actually reduced from $401,024 in 2004 to $323,855 in 2006—a 19 percent decrease,” the press release from the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform stated.

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