New video offers a glimpse inside federal agency’s lavish Vegas conference…’Economic stimulus’… White House blames — Bush!
(CNN) — Congressional investigators are accusing the General Services Administration of violating its employee gift limit with rewards of iPods, digital cameras and other electronics, just as a video emerged of a lavish conference that shows employees drinking and making jokes about wasteful spending.
The video, first obtained by The Huffington Post on Friday, offered a glimpse inside the agency’s $820,000 conference in Las Vegas. An administration official confirmed the authenticity of the video and provided a copy to CNN.
Reports of the lavish conference have prompted taxpayer outrage, embarrassed the administration and put a spotlight on the wasteful spending by the agency that acts as a real estate agency for the federal government.
“These videos reinforce once again the complete lack of judgment exhibited during the 2010 Western Regions Conference,” said Greg Mecher, a GSA spokesman. “Our agency continues to be appalled by this indefensible behavior, and we are taking every step possible to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
The Obama administration is responding to the recent report that shows a federal agency spent more that $800,000 on a lavish conference near Las Vegas by putting some of the blame on the Bush administration.
“At least we have taken, bold, swift forceful action to hold those responsible accountable and put in place protections to make sure this never happened again,” a White House official told Fox News.
The Inspector General Office’s report last week about the 2010 General Services Administration conference outside of Las Vegas indicates the Obama administration knew about the trip since May 2010. The report was followed by a release of videos.