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Published: Tuesday, 4/10/2012

GSA disciplines another official in spending probe

Deputy commissioner joked on tape about lavish meeting

WASHINGTON POST

WASHINGTON -- A top official at the General Services Administration was placed on administrative leave Monday, four days after a video featuring him joking about the lavish spending at a Las Vegas conference for the agency became public.

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 beginning next week.

David Foley's conduct at the Western Regions Conference in 2010 is under disciplinary review, GSA officials said.

Mr. Foley, deputy commissioner of the agency's Public Buildings Service, appears prominently in the six-minute clip, which won the top prize in a talent contest among employees who attended the four-day event in October, 2010.

At a "Red Carpet" awards dinner on the last night of the conference, Mr. Foley rewarded the employee who stars in the video, 28-year-old Hank Terlaje. Mr. Terlaje raps in sunglasses about the government tab -- $823,000 -- to entertain 300 employees at the luxury M Resort Spa Casino.

He brags that he will "never be under investigation" for the excess.

Mr. Foley makes the employee honorary Public Buildings Service commissioner for a day, then jokes about an after-hours party his then-boss, Commissioner Robert Peck, held the night before.

"As part of GSA's continuing review of events surrounding the 2010 Western Regions conference, and subsequent [inspector general's] report, Dave Foley has been placed on administrative leave," said Adam Elkington, an agency spokesman.

Linda Chero, a former regional commissioner with GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, was appointed acting buildings service commissioner. Her acting deputy is Desa Sealy, a former building service associate commissioner.

Mr. Foley is the eighth GSA leader to be disciplined, fired, or forced to resign since last Monday's release of a scathing report by GSA Inspector General Brian Miller, whose staff spent a year reviewing spending at the conference.

The report forced the resignation of the administration's head, Martha Johnson, and the firing of Mr. Peck and another Johnson deputy.

Four regional commissioners who planned the conference are on administrative leave.

Mr. Foley was hired by the Public Buildings Service in 1997.

He began his career as an intern in the Dallas field office and worked his way to the No. 2 spot in the buildings service, which manages the federal government's real estate portfolio.

As deputy commissioner, he was chief operating officer in charge of buildings, project delivery, and real estate acquisitions.

He also managed $5.5 billion worth of stimulus projects.

The video clip was released last week by the office of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.).



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