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NEWS
April 19, 2012 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON - As the investigation into lavish spending by the General Services Administration widens beyond the $823,000 conference held in Las Vegas in 2010, new claims have been levied at GSA administrator Jeff Neely regarding official travel that included his wife. Neely, silent since invoking the 5th Amendment at the onset of a series of congressional hearings on the GSA, has been the focus of heavy criticism over his role not only in the planning of the Las Vegas conference, but also his personal conduct at the agency.
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NEWS
April 19, 2012 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON - As the investigation into lavish spending by the General Services Administration widens beyond the $823,000 conference held in Las Vegas in 2010, new claims have been levied at GSA administrator Jeff Neely regarding official travel that included his wife. Neely, silent since invoking the 5th Amendment at the onset of a series of congressional hearings on the GSA, has been the focus of heavy criticism over his role not only in the planning of the Las Vegas conference, but also his personal conduct at the agency.
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NEWS
April 17, 2012 | By Ian Duncan
WASHINGTON -- In a display of bureaucratic gymnastics, Jeff Neely, the official at the heart of the General Services Administration conference scandal, reported to two people: a senior counsel at the agency, and himself. Neely was both the Pacific Rim region commissioner for the Public Buildings Service and the region's acting administrator -- the top GSA position in the area -- Susan Brita, the agency's deputy administrator, said at a congressional hearing Tuesday. That dual authority appears to have contributed to his ability to rack up vast bills for conferences using taxpayer money.
NEWS
April 17, 2012 | By Ian Duncan
WASHINGTON -- In a display of bureaucratic gymnastics, Jeff Neely, the official at the heart of the General Services Administration conference scandal, reported to two people: a senior counsel at the agency, and himself. Neely was both the Pacific Rim region commissioner for the Public Buildings Service and the region's acting administrator -- the top GSA position in the area -- Susan Brita, the agency's deputy administrator, said at a congressional hearing Tuesday. That dual authority appears to have contributed to his ability to rack up vast bills for conferences using taxpayer money.
NEWS
May 24, 2012 | By Morgan Little
WASHINGTON -- Jeff Neely, the regional director responsible for much of the General Services Administration's highly controversial $823,000 conference in Las Vegas in 2010, is no longer employed by the agency, a spokesman said. "GSA is in the process of completing its review of activities associated with the Western Regions Conference and pursuing all available avenues for appropriate disciplinary action against those responsible. Jeff Neely was placed on administrative leave based on his involvement in the WRC. As of today, he's no longer employed with GSA,” Deputy Press Secretary Adam Elkington said in a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times.
SPORTS
February 19, 1993 | From Staff and Wire Reports
New York Yankee infielder Randy Velarde won his salary arbitration case for $1.05 million, but Chicago Cub first baseman Mark Grace lost his arbitration case and was awarded a one-season salary of $3.3 million. Pittsburgh infielder Jeff King also lost his arbitration case and was awarded a one-season salary of $675,000.
BUSINESS
April 30, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
In Washington, another scandal has broken over excessive spending during a business conference. But travel experts predict the effect this time around will be limited. Four years ago, it was insurance giant American International Group Inc.  that was slammed for holding a lavish executive retreat at a Dana Point resort after taking billions of dollars in government bailout money. In the face of harsh criticism of excessive spending amid a recession, corporations dramatically cut back on business travel, dealing a blow to hotels and airlines across the country.
NATIONAL
April 17, 2012 | By Ian Duncan, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON — The General Services Administration's inspector general is investigating possible kickbacks and bribes in an agency already shaken by a scandal over a pricey Las Vegas-area conference, he told a congressional hearing Monday. In response to questions from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Brian Miller said he was investigating "all sorts of improprieties, including bribes, possibly kickbacks. " "We do have other ongoing investigations," Miller said, adding that witnesses told him waste was "widespread" in the GSA's Pacific Rim region, which staged the Las Vegas-area conference for nearly $823,000 in 2010.
NATIONAL
April 17, 2012 | By John M. Glionna
LAS VEGAS -- This gaming capital has some winners and a lot of big-time losers, one of the last being a guy named Uncle Sam. Oh, and don't forget about those American taxpayers. The government's General Services Administration threw a humdinger of a four-day conference in 2010 at the M Resort in suburban Henderson that was billed to the public coffers to the tune of more than $800,000. The soiree featured a mind reader and other extravagances, leading to a federal probe into the affair.
NEWS
April 25, 2012 | By Morgan Little
Congress is taking steps toward reform in the wake of the General Services Administration's spending scandal, with the House planning to vote Wednesday on a bill that would set new standards for transparency. The vote follows Tuesday's Senate approval of a spending limitations amendment aimed at government-funded conferences. The House bill, titled the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act , was originally introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in June 2011. At its heart, the bill would mandate that recipients of contracts, loans and grants on a federal level report their spending uniformly, and all federal agencies would be required to disclose their expenditures and financial obligations in a uniform manner on a single public website.
NATIONAL
April 23, 2012 | By Ian Duncan, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - It was a simple scam: Coleen Newton-White, a government contractor, and her husband would take General Services Administration credit cards from the motor pool at Ft. Monroe, Va., and use them to sell fuel at a discount to cash customers who pulled up to service stations five at a time. Between 2008 and 2010, the scheme netted the couple almost $300,000, according to court records. Although the gas scheme is a world away from the nearly $823,000 spent on a lavish Las Vegas-area conference put on by GSA official Jeff Neely - including a mind reader, sushi and in-room parties - it is an example of the fraud that the procurement and property management agency faces regularly.
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