During 2010, at a time when U.S. unemployment rates remained high and economic growth stagnant, 300 employees of the U.S. General Services Administration gathered in Las Vegas for an extravagant $823,000 Western Regions conference. As reports of the costly event broke, taxpayers and Washington officials were outraged to learn of the $7,000 sushi reception, $3,200 mind reader and $130,000 scouting trips funded by taxpayer dollars.
In the wake of the GSA scandal, officials in the Obama administration took action to crack-down on overspending by government agencies. As public outrage mounted, Congressional hearings were held during which executives at GSA were questioned about their apparent abuses of power and overspending.
As a result of those hearings and reports of similar abuses by other federal agencies, steps were taken to rein in spending by all government agencies. Additionally, amid growing pressure from politicians and the American public, several GSA executives were fired.
While there's no doubt that some of these executives were directly involved in recklessly spending taxpayer dollars and defrauding the government for personal gain, others were innocent casualties. One of these employees, James Weller, was a senior executive at GSA when the scandal of the agency's exorbitant spending broke.
Despite the fact that Weller asserted he knew nothing about his colleagues' plans or actions with regard to the conference, he was fired. Through the help of strong legal representation, Weller won his job back and GSA was ordered to pay him 19 months in back wages.
Employees of businesses or government entities who believe they were wrongfully terminated would be wise to discuss their case with an employment attorney. The Washington D.C. employment law firm Alan Lescht & Associates, P.C., provides strong legal advocacy for employees who suffer discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage theft and wrongful termination.
Source: The Washington Post, "Government exec who famously partied in a hot tub on taxpayers' dime is sentenced to prison," Lisa Rein, July 1, 2015