Scandal Prompts Statement from New GSA Chief

General Services Administration chief Dan Tangherlini reprimanded organizers of a Las Vegas training conference in a video on Tuesday, calling their 2010 spending spree “completely unacceptable.” He said “there were violations of travel rules, acquisition rules and good conduct. Those responsible violated rules of common sense, the spirit of public service and the trust taxpayers have placed in all of us.”

He urged GSA employees to read the report on the four-day Western Regions Conference released last week by Inspector General Brian Miller. It revealed details of an $823,000 junket at the luxury M Hotel and Casino for 300 West Coast employees. Reports of the misdeeds have embarrassed the Obama administration and focused attention on the relatively little-known GSA, which manages all federal real estate and does most government purchasing.

Seven senior GSA leaders have been fired or placed on administrative leave pending further disciplinary action. Administrator Martha N. Johnson resigned under pressure last week hours before the report was released. Four congressional hearings on the scandal are scheduled for next week.

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