Mica calls for GSA to fire official embroiled in scandal

Tuesday - 4/24/2012, 3:11pm EDT

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is urging the General Services Administration to stop paying an official at the center of the conference spending scandal.

Jeff Neely, GSA's Public Buildings Services commissioner in Region 9, was put on administrative leave earlier this month after the agency's inspector general released a report revealing an October 2010 conference in Las Vegas cost taypayers more than $820,000. As a result of the report, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson resigned, fired two top officials and 10 employees were put on administrative leave.

In a letter to GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini, House Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) said evidence from a subcommittee hearing last week on the GSA spending scandal show Neely was "involved in malfeasance in office and has information and knowledge of wrongdoing and abuse that are vital to our investigation."

Mica called for Neely's immediate firing or, at the very least, removal from the federal payroll.

Neely was described in the IG report as calling for an "over-the-top" conference. IG Brian Miller testified last week that employees who objected to Neely were "squashed like a bug."

Neely did not appear before the House Transportation subcommittee hearing, nor did he appear before two other congressional hearings last week on GSA's conference spending. Neely only appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Committee under a subpoena but invoked his right to remain silent.

"For many Americans, the idea that their taxpayer dollars are continuing to pay an official who has abused and demonstrated a wanton disregard for his responsibilities as a federal employee and senior executive is unacceptable," Mica said in the letter.

Federal News Radio has requested comment from GSA.

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