General Services Administration regional commissioner Jeff Neely’s wife had her own parking space at a federal building, the agency’s inspector general said today — even though she is not a federal employee.
The revelation was the latest nugget to come out of the ongoing conference spending scandal that has already brought down large swaths of the agency’s leadership. And judging by IG Brian Miller’s comments to the Senate Appropriations financial services and general government subcommittee, plenty more is likely to come out. The OIG is conducting “many more investigations,” he said, though he could not say exactly how many.
“Every time you turn over a stone, we find 50 more … instances” of wrongdoing, Miller said. “We find one thing after another.”
Miller said that his office only discovered today that Neely’s wife Deborah had her own space throughout 2012.
Neely apparently brought his wife along to multiple GSA events, including a 2009 scouting trip to Las Vegas to prepare for the infamous 2010 Western Regions Conference — an excursion that resulted in some embarrassing photos.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., criticized Neely earlier this week for allowing his wife to take part in agency events at taxpayer expense.
“The impression conveyed by these documents is that Mr. Neely and his wife believed they were some sort of agency royalty, who used taxpayer funds to bankroll their lavish lifestyle,” Cummings said at a hearing Monday.
Neely, who is the Region 9 commissioner for GSA’s Public Buildings Service, is on administrative leave.
Miller told the Senate subcommittee — as he also did yesterday — that Neely often put people down who tried to raise concerns about the spending habits at GSA’s Region 9 and “squashed [them]like bugs.” As a result, a culture grew where people were afraid to speak up when something was wrong.
But that is now changing, Miller said.
“We have been receiving a lot of whistleblower complaints since this report was released,” Miller said. “It has gotten tremendously better.”