GSA official declines to testify; IG looking into bribery, kickbacks

At the start of hearings into lavish spending and other improprieties at the General Services Administration, an official at the center of the controversy invoked his right against self-incrimination and declined to testify,  The Washington Post reports.

Jeffrey Neely, who has been accused of planning a 2010 conference in Las Vegas at a cost of more than $800,000, responded to several questions: “Mr. Chairman, on the advice of my counsel, I respectfully decline to answer based upon my Fifth Amendment constitutional privileges.”

The hearings of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee evoked outrage from both Democrats and Republicans. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the panel’s ranking member, called the situation both “indefensible” and “intolerable.”

In response to questions from Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Inspector General Brian Miller said his office was looking into further allegations of wrongdoing at the GSA, according to the Associated Press. “We do have other ongoing investigations including all sorts of improprieties including bribes and possible kickbacks,” he said.

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