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Wanted to avoid ‘muffin’ scandal
Soon after the audit was released, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew issued a statement condemning the expenditures and noting that Mr. Obama was outraged.
Ms. Cox was named regional administrator for the Pacific Rim in August, overseeing more than 1,000 employees and 1,200 government-owned and -leased buildings in California, Arizona, Hawaii and Nevada, as well as in overseas posts in Guam, Japan and American Samoa.
According to an agency biography, she was executive director of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association before joining GSA. She also has worked as executive director of the 21st Century Democrats and in the Obama-Biden transition team's office of intergovernmental affairs.
Meanwhile, Congress has held several hearings on the conference, including one where Mr. Neely, no longer employed by the agency, refused to testify and invoked his rights under the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination.
The agency came under renewed scrutiny this week after members of Congress questioned more than $1 million in bonuses handed out to GSA employees who were being investigated for wrongdoing or misconduct.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, released information about the bonuses Monday and said the review would be broadened to include other federal agencies.
Meanwhile, Rep. Darrell E. Issa, California Republican and chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has called on GSA to detail hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expenses paid out to “virtual” employees, including supervisors, who worked out of the office.
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