Jeffrey Neely, the senior federal executive whose appearance in a video drinking wine in a hot tub at a Las Vegas hotel became the public face of a conference where hundreds of federal employees partied at taxpayer expense, was sentenced yesterday to three months in prison, the Washington Post reports. The former regional commissioner for the General Service Administration's Pacific Rim real estate portfolio also will serve three months' home detention and pay $10,000 in restitution and fines. He pleaded guilty to fraud against the government, admitting that he had billed GSA for a night's stay at a Las Vegas casino even though he was not on business for the agency's Public Buildings Service.
Neely's sentencing in Nevada caps a scandal that changed the way the government does business. It cost the GSA administrator and her top deputies their jobs, led to multiple congressional hearings and shined a light on extravagant conferences held by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Internal Revenue Service. GSA became the butt of late-night TV jokes. “It's unusual for someone with no criminal history to get federal confinement even for three months for this kind of crime,” said Brian Miller, the former GSA inspector general who cracked open the story of his agency's extravagances, which featured a mind-reader and after-hours parties in loft suites.