Former GSA executive Jeff Neely asserted his right to remain silent at a Capitol Hill hearing in 2012.

Former GSA executive Jeff Neely asserted his right to remain silent at a Capitol Hill hearing in 2012. Associated Press file photo

Ringleader in GSA Scandal Gets Three Months in Prison

Jeff Neely, organizer of $822,000 training conference, also must pay restitution.

Jeff Neely, the Public Buildings Service executive whose orchestration of a lavish Las Vegas training conference rocked the General Services Administration in 2012, was sentenced on Tuesday to three months imprisonment and ordered to pay more than $10,000 in fines and restitution by a federal district judge in San Francisco.

Neely, widely mocked by members of Congress after photos circulated showing the shirtless executive sipping wine in a hotel room hot tub, also was sentenced to three months home confinement, $8,000 in restitution, a $2,000 fine, a $100 special assessment and probation, according to the GSA inspector general’s office.

Neely’s attorney had requested probation, while the U.S. sentencing guidelines had called for six months in prison. The sentencing memo detailed infractions related to the four-day $822,000 conference for 300 in 2010 that included entertainment by a mind-reader, an open-bar reception and a bicycle-building exercise. Between at least June 2009 and May 2011, Neely submitted several false travel vouchers for items as small as gasoline purchases. He also failed to take annual leave for several days during which he performed no government work.

Following the judge’s decision, GSA Acting Inspector General Robert C. Erickson said, "This concludes our case about a GSA executive abusing his position and wasting taxpayer dollars.” 

The GSA scandal that erupted in April 2012 with an inspector general’s revelations cost seven GSA executives their job, including then administrator Martha Johnson. Two successfully challenged their dismissals. One was Paul Prouty, a former acting GSA chief and regional commissioner. Prouty sent the judge a letter before Neely’s sentencing, in which he called Neely a friend and “a good and decent man who has accomplished a great deal in his life and made a significant contribution to the nation through public service.”

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