The central figure in a General Services Administration spending scandal has asserted his right to remain silent at a congressional hearing.
Jeffrey Neely had been placed on leave as a regional executive in Western states earlier. On Monday, he was called before the House Oversight Committee.
Neely, who could face a criminal investigation, was largely responsible for an $823,000 Las Vegas conference in 2010. Three other congressional committees are investigating the conference and a culture of overspending by the agency.
The conference was the subject of a highly critical report by GSA inspector general Brian Miller. Taxpayers picked up the tab for a clown, a mind-reader, bicycles for a team-building exercise, parties and what Neely called a pre-conference scouting trip.
GSA is in charge of federal buildings and supplies.
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