WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - One official pleaded the Fifth as the possibility of criminal charges and demands that officials pay the government back for their private room parties came out during a House hearing into that GSA Las Vegas scandal.
For the first time, both the acting and the ousted GSA-chiefs testified, agreeing the $820,000 conference was over the top.
Under questioning, Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said, although now 12 officials had either resigned been fired, or placed on administrative leave, other actions are yet to be determined.
"I intend to conduct a top to bottom review. Clearly there were serious gaps as evidence by what took place here," said Tangherlini.
He testified he's also demanding paybacks-cash from three attending officials.
"Right now we have the case of the three individuals we've sought for the private in-room parties," Tangherlini said.
Tangherlini did not respond to the investigation 9 Wants to Know exposed Friday night about a GSA Death List and $26 million in annual bonuses.
Read more about the GSA Death List and annual bonuses here.
The official in charges of the Las Vegas boondoggle, GSA Commissioner Jeffrey Neeley, refused to answer questions.
"On the advice of counsel I respectfully decline to answer based upon my fifth amendment constitutional privilege," he said.
Neeley remains on paid administrative leave.
Former GSA Administrator Martha Johnson did talk, making her first statement since pictures of 2400 square foot hotel suites showing where GSA VIPS stayed in the Las Vegas M Resort during the agency's $820,000 convention were distributed.
"I am extremely aggrieved by the gull of a handful of people to misuse tax dollars and defile the great name of the General Services Administration," Johnson said. "I will mourn for the rest of my life the loss of my appointment."
Johnson said the White House did not ask her to quit but she resigned, on her own, to symbolize the need for new leadership.
"Thank God that what happened in Vegas didn't stay in Vegas," said Rep. Mike Kelley (R-Pa
Congressmen expressed outrage and asked why the official who planned the conference, who refused to testify, received a $9,000 bonus.
The Inspector General who uncovered the Las Vegas spending spree testified he's handed the case to the Justice Department.
"We've recommended criminal charges," said Inspector General Brian Miller. "Bribes, all sorts of improprieties, possibly kickbacks," are currently under investigation, he said.
If you have tips about GSA waste or corruption, contact Investigative Reporter Russ Ptacek by e-mail at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @RussPtacek.