Former official at center of GSA conference scandal indicted

Former GSA IG Brian Miller discusses the indictment on In Depth with Francis Rose

wfedstaff | April 17, 2015 7:56 pm

Jeff Neely, the main figure at the center of the Western Regions Conference scandal that engulfed the General Services Administration in 2012, was indicted by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

The grand jury returned its decision Sept. 25, finding enough evidence that Neely, the former regional commissioner in the Public Building Service, committed five counts of fraud against the government to move the case forward.

The indictment includes three counts of false claims and two counts of making false statements and/or submitting false documents.

Neely is scheduled to appear in federal court on Oct. 20.

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Neely had been placed on administrative leave in 2011 following revelations of a lavish $822,000 training conference held in Las Vegas in 2010, and no longer was employed by the agency by May 2012.

Court documents stated Neely on or about March 17, 2010, allegedly asked GSA to reimburse him for lodging expenses at M Resort Spa Casino Las Vegas for the night of March 11, 2010, which he knew was not incurred for official business.

The court also stated Neely allegedly submitted a false or fraudulent travel voucher to GSA, claiming expenses for a stay in Cambria, California, on June 25, 2010.

On another count, the grand jury found Neely lied to the GSA inspector general. Court documents state Neely sent an email to the OIG, attaching a document which allegedly falsely asserted that he extended an October 2010 trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, for official business purposes.

A fourth count against Neely alleges he falsely advised an employee in GSA’s Financial and Payroll Services Division that he had to travel to Long Beach, California, on June 25, 2010, for official business purposes.

And the fifth count claims Neely submitted to GSA a false travel voucher claiming round trip airfare for travel between Guam and Saipan in February 2012 in an amount he knew he did not incur.

Neely is one of five officials to resign or be fired in the wake of the disclosures, and he is the first former government official who was a main figure in the scandal to be indicted by a court.

Two of the other officials who were fired, Paul Prouty and James Weller, successfully pursued wrongful termination cases against GSA before the Merit System Protection Board. Both employees are waiting for MSPB to hear GSA’s appeal of its decision.

The revelations about the lavish spending caused major changes to the way agencies attend conferences. It also caused a significant overhaul in how GSA is managed.

RELATED STORIES:

GSA head Johnson resigns, two other officials fired in wake of over the top conference spending

Embattled regional commissioner Jeff Neely no longer at GSA

Second former GSA official cleared of wrongdoing in conference scandal

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