Remember the controversy surrounding the General Services Administration and its lavish, ultra-expensive parties in Las Vegas? The Obama administration tried to sweep the frivolous spending incidents under the rug by firing a few upper-level employees who took the blame. But today, one of those executives is being reinstated after a review of his termination exonerated him of the misconduct charges.
Oh, and on top of the Vegas parties we paid for, we taxpayers also get to pay him 11 months of back pay. Awesome.
The General Services Administration was ordered this week to reinstate a senior executive who lost his job last year amid revelations of lavish spending at a Las Vegas conference.
GSA officials had told Paul Prouty that he “knew or should have known about the questionable and excessive expenditures” that embarrassed the Obama administration when they were revealed last year. But the agency failed to prove that the career civil servant in charge of federal buildings in the Rocky Mountain region was guilty of misconduct, the Merit Systems Protection Board ruled.
The merit board also awarded Prouty, 64, 11 months of back pay. Administrative judge Patricia Miller wrote in a 48-page ruling that because Prouty did not attend the four-day conference in 2010 and was not heavily involved in planning it, he should not have been fired.
“We are disappointed with the . . . ruling,” the GSA said in a statement. The agency “has taken strong action against those officials whom we believe were responsible and will continue to do so where appropriate.” Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini, appointed by President Obama to clean up the agency, “has taken significant steps over the past year to improve internal controls and oversight,” the statement said.
Spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara said the agency is reviewing whether to appeal the ruling.