Tue April 3, 2012
GSA Chief Resigns Over Agency's Extravagant Spending
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
NPR's business news starts with what happens in Vegas...
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
GREENE: What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay in Vegas, especially if it involves taxpayer dollars.
The head of a federal agency has resigned after reports of inappropriate spending at a conference near Las Vegas. Martha Johnson led the General Services Administration, which manages the federal government's property.
According to The Washington Post, the GSA administrator insisted its 2010 Western Region's Conference be, quote, "over the top, bigger and better than in years past." The training conference held for 300 employees ended up costing $832,000. The White House says President Obama was outraged by the excessive spending. According to the GSA's own investigation, the conference events as a Henderson, Nevada hotel and casino included $44 per person breakfasts, rented tuxedos. For entertainment there was a mind reader, a comedian, also a clown. Martha Johnson resigned. Two of her top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on leave. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.