GSA Chief Resigns Over Outlandish Spending

by Daniel Foster

General Services Administration head Martha Johnson has resigned along with two of her deputies, reportedly over an impending inspector general’s report detailing lavish spending on a Vegas conference for a handful of government employees.

Organizers spent $835,000 on the event, which was attended by 300 employees. The expenses included $147,000 in airfare and lodging at the hotel for six planning trips by a team of organizers. Among the other expenses were $3,200 for a mind reader; $6,300 on commemorative coin set displayed in velvet boxes and $75,000 on a training exercise to build a bicycle.

“When the White House was informed of the Inspector General’s findings we acted quickly to determine who was responsible for such a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars,” White House Chief of State Jack Lew said in a statement to The Washington Post. President Obama “was outraged by the excessive spending, questionable dealings with contractors, and disregard for taxpayer dollars,” Lew said, “and called for all those responsible to be held fully accountable.”

The GSA is basically the federal government’s office managers, providing things like office space, desks, and cars to other agencies. One of its charges is to develop cost-saving administrative strategies. . . .