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GSA Saga Continues: Photos Show Official Enjoying Elaborate Pre-Conference Trip (With Wine and Spa Tub Shot!)


AP: He's pleading the Fifth --

(Photo: Google Plus)

Jeffrey Neely, a government official on the front lines of a scandal regarding the Government Service Administration's (GSA) $822,000 "training conference," is pleading the fifth, according to his lawyer.  ABC reports, "He won’t comment on the bizarre awards ceremony, the commemorative coins, or the mind-reader/motivational speaker" which the GSA Inspector General have deemed "excessive" and "wasteful."

(Related: A Mind Reader, a Clown, and a $75,000 ‘Team Building’ Exercise: Federal Agency Head Steps Down After Lavish Training Conference)

However, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and his wife has dozens on her Google+ page showing him enjoying the lavish amenities. In the photos, Neely is allegedly on one of the eight "per-conference" trips -- planning trips before the elaborate conference that's become infamous. Those trips cost taxpayers $130,000 alone, according to the GSA Inspector General's investigation.

One picture even shows Neely shirtless and soaking in a tub with two glasses of what appear to be wine right next to him:

According to ABC, the loft suites "have 2,400 square feet of space, two stories, multiple HD televisions and wet bars, and a going rate of $1,179 per night.  Flat suites have 1,440 square feet and cost $449-$599 per night."

ABC explains the cost breakdown:

Travel expenses for conference planning totaled  $100,405.37,  and catering costs totaled  over $30,000.  GSA spent money on refreshment breaks during the planning meetings, which it had no authority to do, and the cost of catered meals at those meetings exceeded per diem limits.”

The misuse of funds is so egregious, that Inspector General Brian Miller has referred the case to the Justice Department for a possible criminal investigation.

A total of 31 pictures of the elaborate "work trip" can be found on the Google + page of Neely's wife, under the name "M Hotel@Vegas Nov2009."

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