A $222K bathroom redo at Interior wouldn't happen today, GSA says

Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne oversaw the renovation. Former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne oversaw the renovation. Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP file photo

A lavish Interior Department bathroom renovation from 2007 that cost taxpayers nearly a quarter of a million dollars would not happen in today’s budgetary environment, a General Services Administration spokesman told Cox Media.

On Tuesday, Cox Media’s Scott MacFarlane detailed a pricey renovation done by former Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne during the later years of the George W. Bush administration.  The bathroom’s interior area is about 100 square feet, and some of the renovated items included $1,500 wall panels, a $3,500 sub-zero refrigerator, and $2,500 in custom cabinetry. The renovations were approved and contracted by the GSA, but a spokesman for the agency told MacFarlane that there was “greater oversight” to protect against this type of waste today.

David Williams, the president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, told MacFarlane that Kempthorne shouldn’t have gone through with the extravagant upgrade.

“We can't afford as taxpayers the remodeling of bathrooms or any rooms that don't need to be remodeled," Williams said.  

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