Embattled GSA Official Enjoys Wine, Soak in“Pre-Conference” Photos
(WASHINGTON) -- The government official on the front lines of the scandal involving a wasteful government conference, U.S. General Services Administration regional commissioner Jeffrey Neely, will invoke his 5th amendment right against self-incrimination, his lawyer Preston Burton tells ABC News.
Neely won’t comment on the $822,751 conference, many of the expenditures for which the GSA Inspector General called “excessive” and “wasteful.” Nor will he comment on the bizarre awards ceremony, the commemorative coins or the mind-reader/motivational speaker.
Neely bares a bit more in a photo collection on his wife’s Google+ page. There visitors can see photos of Neely staying in a luxurious suite at the M Resort Spa & Casino in November 2009, during one of the eight scouting and off-site pre-conference meetings to prepare for the October 2010 conference. The pictures show the Neelys at the hotel, enjoying room service, and taking in a soak in the “spa tub.”
The eight pre-conference trips alone cost the government $130,000, according to the GSA Inspector General’s investigation of the 2010 conference. Inspector General Brian Miller has referred his case to the Justice Department for possible criminal investigation.
GSA spokesman Adam Elkington refrained from commenting on the photographs and Neely attorney Burton also declined to comment.
The controversy surrounding the wasteful spending at the conference has cost GSA administrator Martha Johnson her job, with other GSA officials such as Neely put on administrative leave. The 31 pictures on Deborah Neely’s Google+ page are contained in the album “M Hotel@Vegas Nov2009.”
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