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8th GSA official put on leave over scandal

The General Services Administration on Monday placed an eighth employee on administrative leave following an investigation into $823,000 in spending for an October 2010 training conference at a Las Vegas resort.

The agency in charge of federal buildings and supplies continued to address the scandal in its ranks as at least three congressional committees geared up for hearings, starting next week.

The latest official placed on leave was David Foley, deputy commissioner of the Public Buildings Service. He appeared in a video presenting an award at the conference to an employee who, in the same video, performed a rap song bragging about the lavish spending.

"As part of GSA's continuing review of events surrounding the 2010 Western Regions Conference and subsequent IG report, PBS Deputy Commissioner Dave Foley has been placed on administrative leave," the agency said in a statement.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will conduct the first hearing on the scandal next Monday.

Those invited include Inspector General Brian Miller, who issued the report on the conference after a yearlong investigation; Martha Johnson, who resigned as administrator after the scandal broke earlier this month; Michael Robertson, chief of staff; Foley; and Jeff Neely, regional commissioner of the Public Buildings Service for the Pacific Rim. He is one of four regional commissioners on administrative leave.

A Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing April 18 will include Miller and the new acting administrator of the GSA, Daniel Tangherlini.

A third hearing is set for April 19 by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Witnesses have not been announced.

The GSA said it welcomed the hearings.

"As we've said, the actions of the Western Regions Conference are not consistent with how GSA conducts business," the agency said in a statement.

"We were appalled by the missteps highlighted in the IG's report, have taken disciplinary action against those responsible, accepted all of the IG's recommendations and continue to take additional steps to ensure this never happens again.

"We welcome responsible oversight and look forward to working with the committees reviewing this matter."

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