GSA told to reinstate 2nd executive fired over Vegas junket
WASHINGTON — The General Services Administration has been ordered to reinstate a second senior executive who was fired in a spending scandal that revealed a culture of excess at the agency.
James Weller, a retired Army colonel who was in charge of federal buildings for GSA's Southwest region, lost his job in 2012 amid revelations that a Las Vegas “training” conference was little more than an extravagant junket for 300 employees.
But a Merit Systems Protection Board judge ruled that GSA officials failed to prove that Weller, 60, was guilty of misconduct. While he attended the four-day Western Regions conference in 2010 and flew to Las Vegas for one of eight dry runs to plan it, he was not involved in the planning or aware that taxpayers paid $823,000 for the event, the judge ruled. He awarded Weller 19 months of back pay.
“Outside of his appearance at the final ‘dry run' meeting, the appellant possessed no knowledge regarding the ⅛planning meetings⅜ until well after the fact, and thus was not in a position to contest or otherwise limit the travel costs associated with their frequency and composition,” Administrative Judge Ronald Weiss wrote in a 38-page decision released in March.
A year ago, the merit board awarded Paul Prouty, a career civil servant in charge of public buildings in GSA's Rocky Mountain region, to be reinstated with back pay.
GSA has appealed both rulings.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Inmate freed in landmark case
- WWII pilot takes off in B-29 yet again
- Democratic areas flush with transportation grants
- D.C. closer to legalizing sale of pot
- Botched probe of suspected arms dealer echoed Fast and Furious, watchdog finds
- Museum saves part of bomber plant
- Nurse defies Maine quarantine in standoff over Ebola
- Hawaii’s National Guard sent to lava flow site
- Terminally ill woman may delay planned Nov. 1 suicide
- Wash. shooting survivor has jaw surgery
- Gray wolf sighting reported at Grand Canyon