COPY-Second House panel blasts GSA for parties, trips, bonuses - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

COPY-Second House panel blasts GSA for parties, trips, bonuses

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Lawmakers are hearing that the questionable spending at the General Services Administration went way beyond the $823,000 Las Vegas conference attended by GSA employees.

Members of a House panel today asked the GSA's inspector general, Brian Miller, about trips by agency staffers to the South Pacific and the Napa Valley wine country -- and trips to Las Vegas to plan for the conference that brought all of the attention to the GSA's spending habits.

Miller voiced amazement at the scope of the wrongdoing he found. He told the panel, "Every time we turned over a stone we found 50 more with all kinds of things crawling out."

Committee members pointed out that the organizer of the Las Vegas conference, Jeffrey Neely, had made 9 pre-planning trips for the conference -- and that he also visited Hawaii for 9 days in October of last year and four days last March.

Family members went along on some of the junkets. An exchange of email between Neely and his wife before one trip said it would be a birthday celebration.

Neely yesterday refused to answer questions from a second committee, citing his Fifth Amendment rights.

Miller, the agency's internal watchdog, said he's investigating bribery and kickbacks, and has already recommended criminal charges.

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