A press release from the office of Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) reports that the notorious General Services Administration shoveled out $1 million in bonuses to top officials ??? including the very avatar of government waste, regional commissioner Jeff ???Bathtub??? Neely ??? since the investigation into the agency???s $823,000 Las Vegas bacchanalia began.
McCaskill???s statement declared, ???It doesn???t pass the smell test to be awarding huge bonuses in taxpayer dollars to officials who are being investigated, or have already been found responsible, for fraud and waste of those very taxpayer dollars.???
It doesn???t really pass the smell test to be kicking out big bonuses to anyone involved in running our debt-riddled, wasteful government, especially after President Obama loudly announced a ???pay freeze??? for the huge federal workforce during one of his fitful pretenses to be a deficit hawk, but some of us have more sensitive noses for the abuse of public money.
Neely got a $9,000 bonus after a draft report on the Vegas outrage was presented to GSA Administrator Martha Johnson in May 2011, according to a Bloomberg News report. Both Johnson and Neely have since left the agency, although it took until May 24 ??? almost two months after the GSA Inspector General released his bombshell report – to be rid of Neely.
A CNN report adds that among the other officials rewarded with bonuses were a supervisor who collected an $8,000 bonus every year since 2008, even though he had to be reassigned for abuse of authority, and another who collected $20,000 in bonuses despite being reprimanded for interfering with a government investigation. All told, 84 GSA employees that were part of the Inspector General???s investigation received bonuses.
A spokesman for the GSA said via email that a ???top-down review of our agency???s operations??? is in progress, and it would include ???all bonus payouts in recent years, especially for those individuals under investigation by GSA???s Inspector General. McCaskill is pushing for a rule to prevent employees from receiving bonuses while they???re under investigation ??? a rule whose current absence should infuriate everyone worried about the ominous avalanche rumbles floating down from the top of our $16 trillion national debt mountain.