Hearings on wasteful GSA spending underway

U.S. General Services Administration regional commissioner Jeffrey Neely shown enjoying wine and soaking in a spa tub at M Hotel during a "pre-conference" meeting. (Google Plus)

April 16, 2012 3:21:56 PM PDT
The first of four congressional hearings is now underway into the wasteful spending habits of the government agency that makes sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

The House Oversight Committee is focusing on a lavish $823,000 conference held by the General Services Administration in Las Vegas in 2010. The conference showed videos like one depicting an event that included a clown, a mind-reader, and a team-building exercise to build bicycles.

"We need to know that there's people in Washington, D.C., that we sent to represent us keeping an eye on that. And, if we can't do that, why are we here?" Rep. Mike Kelly of Pennsylvannia asked Monday.

The GSA administrator resigned two weeks ago.

The department's San Francisco Commissioner Jeff Neely has been subpoenaed to testify Monday. He helped organize the conference and is expected to assert his constitutional right to remain silent.