Obama Official Resigns Over Taxpayer-Funded Clown And Mindreader

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The head of Obama's General Services Administration resigned today over allegations of excessive spending at a Las Vegas training conference for federal workers that featured a mindreader, a clown, and a comedian.

The Washington Post scoops that GSA Administrator Martha Johnson submitted her letter of resignation to the White House Monday after the administration learned about the the conference from a forthcoming report from the GSA's watchdog.

According to the Post, the report found that the GSA used $835,000 in taxpayer funds to host a 2010 training conference for 300 employees at a luxury hotel in Vegas. Expenses included $147,000 on airfare and lodging for conference organizers; $3,200 for a mind reader; $6,300 for commemorative coin sets; $75,000 on a training exercise to build a bicycle. The Post does not specify how much money was spent on the clown and the comedian.

Johnson's deputies have also stepped down over the spending scandal, and four GSA employees who organized the conference have been placed on leave pending further action, according to the Post.

In a statement to the Post, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said the President learned about the spending report before his recent trip to South Korea and "was outraged by the excessive spending, questionable dealings with contractors, and disregard for taxpayer dollars."

"On his first day in office, President Obama made clear that the people who serve in his Administration are keepers of the public trust and that public service is a privilege,” Jack Lew said. “When the White House was informed of the Inspector General's findings we acted quickly to determine who was responsible for such a gross misuse of taxpayer dollars.” 

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