GSA Scandal: Jeff Neely Pleads the 5th

Agency to former officials: You owe us Vegas money

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2012 3:44 PM CDT | Updated Apr 16, 2012 7:17 PM CDT

(Newser) – Rep. Darrell Issa said never before in his career had a witness at a government hearing refused to testify. But Jeff Neely, former official at the General Services Administration, invoked his fifth amendment right today during a congressional hearing into the agency's use of $800,000 for a Las Vegas conference, the Washington Post reports. An in-house GSA probe has already revealed the lavish spending of taxpayer dollars at the October 2010 conference.

Nothing too "Vegas" reported so far though—just T-shirts, books, and commemorative coins (many of which were made in China, one lawmaker groused). Other former GSA officials did speak at the House Oversight Committee hearing, either regretting "the gall of a handful of people to misuse federal tax dollars" or apologizing for the lateness of another administrator's investigation. Best line of the day goes to Rep. Mike Kelly: “Thank God that what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas.” Later, the Post revealed GSA letters demanding that three former officials, including Neely, repay more than $5,500 linked to the Vegas scandal.

Jeff Neely sits at the witness table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, April 16, 2012, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.
Jeff Neely sits at the witness table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, April 16, 2012, during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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