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GOP lawmakers seek removal of VA's chief of staff

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012
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VA responded Tuesday by saying that any misuse of taxpayer dollars was unacceptable, and that's why Shinseki took action consistent with the inspector general's recommendations. The department said Gingrich's "conduct has been addressed by the secretary," but did not elaborate.

Gingrich told investigators, "I should have made sure the conferences were executed better. Now, I think people should have done more prudent work. But, it's my signature upon that page."

The inspector general recommended "appropriate administrative action" for Gingrich, but did not make specific recommendations. The report noted that Shinseki told his chief of staff that policies and procedures used to monitor conference expenses were inadequate and that he should have asked more questions.

Lawmakers and agencies are paying closer attention to employee-training conferences after a lavish conference held by the General Services Administration featured a clown, a mind-reader and a rap video.