Top Obama Administration GSA Official Worried Last Summer about How Facts of Scandal would be Portrayed in the Media
The below e-mail shows the interaction of one Obama Administration political appointee to another back in July 2011 about a “letter of reprimand” to the organizer of the 2010 lavish GSA Las Vegas conference – the Obama Administration only put the individual, Jeff Neely, on paid administrative leave earlier this month when the public release of the Inspector General’s report of wasteful spending was imminent. In the email, Deputy Administrator Susan Brita, says the letter needs to be written in expectation of an eventual Washington Post story on the scandal.
E-mail obtained by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee:
From: Susan Brita
Sent: Friday, July 08, 2011 01:43 PM
To: Robert Peck
Cc: Stephen Leeds; David Foley
Subject: Re: Neely letter
Date: Fri Jul 08 2011 17:41:24 EDT
Bob [Peck]- according to the IG they didnt’ find any agenda that would support comments about substance and important issues. Furthermore, expenses for a clown suit, bikes, tuxedos, and mind reader don’t really lend themselves to a claim of a substantive conference. I think the letter to Jeff should be crafted with a WAPO mind frame. If this story of GSA (federal workers) spending “almost a million dollars” (and I have no doubt that is how the Post would report the event) at a time of high unemployment, and down economy were to hit the press what would public reaction by, what would congressional reaction be, and how would the agency respond (especially the political leadership). Jeff is a seasoned SES who is expected to display the highest standards of common sense, and prudent financial management. He did neither. Sorry, but your letter is not even a slap on the wrist.