You've seen the stories about the wild & crazy shenanigans of GSA employees enjoying a work "retreat" in Las Vegas. Now, ABC News is reporting that former GSA administrator Martha Johnson missed the retreat to attend meetings in California -- meetings at Solydra, the solar firm that received a half-billion dollar federal loan and was touted by the Obama administration before declaring bankruptcy last year.
According to a 52-page transcript from the Inspector General investigator’s March 15, 2011 interview with Jeff Neely, a regional administrator currently on administrative leave, Neely explained that GSA incurred some unanticipated expenses for a last-minute video link for four assistant commissioners assigned to participate at the conference in Johnson’s place.
Adam Elkington, a spokesman for GSA, disputes the testimony of Neely, claiming that Johnson did not attend meetings at Solyndra that day. Elkington, however, was unable to explain where Johnson was during the conference.
At the time of the GSA retreat in Vegas, the Department of Energy was looking to help GSA purchase Solyndra-manufactured solar panels to install on the rooftops of federal buildings, a move some critics believe was an attempt by the Obama administration to prop up the doomed company with federal money.