GSA Chief Resigns Over Extravagant Spending

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The head of the General Services Administration and two deputies are out of jobs. And other career employees have been suspended for their role in spending $820,000 on a Nevada conference.


NPR's business news starts with what happens in Vegas...


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.

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