The chief of the General Services Administration resigned, two of her top deputies were fired and four managers were placed on leave Monday amid reports of lavish spending at a conference off the Las Vegas Strip that featured a clown, a mind reader and a $31,208 reception. . . The leadership collapse came hours before GSA Inspector General Brian D. Miller released a scathing report on the $823,000 training conference, held for 300 West Coast employees at the M Resort and Casino, an opulent hotel in Henderson, Nev., just south of Las Vegas. From $130,000 in travel expenses for six scouting trips to a $2,000 party in Peck’s loft suite, event planners violated federal limits on conference spending.
The Obama administration had little choice but to take action in response to the inspector general’s damning report (the GSA’s chief was a political appointee). But at other agencies, wrongdoing may never come to light, because Obama has left an unprecedented number of inspector general positions vacant. Obama also fired an inspector general, Gerald Walpin, who uncovered fraud and exposed wrongdoing by Sacramento’s mayor, a staunch Obama supporter (the Obama administration allowed that supporter to avoid any serious penalty for his wrongdoing, and effectively allowed him to avoid repaying taxpayers the $350,000 he owed). The inspector general positions at the State Department, Labor Department, Homeland Security, and other key government agencies are vacant and have been for all or virtually all of the Obama administration.
By contrast, the Bush administration filled inspector general positions, and failed to replace even some liberal inspector generals hired by Bill Clinton, such as the Justice Department’s partisan inspector general Glenn Fine. Fine objected to the hiring of conservative lawyers during the Bush administration (which hired both conservative and liberal lawyers for Justice Department positions), but when he later served in the Obama administration, Fine had no problem with the fact that the Obama Justice Department hired only liberals for legal positions (it hired 113 overtly liberal lawyers and absolutely zero apolitical or non-liberal lawyers for 113 Justice Department positions, including positions involved in litigating the RLUIPA statute, which is often handled by conservative lawyers in private practice — illustrating that the applicant pool for the positions no doubt included qualified conservative applicants whose applications were rejected on ideological grounds).