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GSA head resigns after lavish training conference

The head of the General Services Agency resigned her post on Tuesday after reports surfaced that members of the GSA had spent excessive amounts of money on a training conference in Las Vegas.

In a written statement, White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said President Obama was “outraged” when informed -- before his trip to South Korea -- of the $850,000 spent on the conference, detailed in a report by the GSA’s inspector general.

According to the inspector general’s report, first reported on by the Washington Post, the Oct. 2010 event included $147,000 for six planning trips to Las Vegas by a team of organizers, as well as $3,200 for a mind reader and $6,300 on a commemorative coin set.

“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,” Lew said, adding that the president was “outraged by the excessive spending, questionable dealings with contractors, and disregard for taxpayer dollars.”

In her resignation letter, GSA Administrator Martha Johnson said she had launched internal reviews and took disciplinary action after reports surfaced of the “conference in which taxpayer dollar were squandered” but that she still felt she had to resign “so that the agency can move forward at this time with a fresh leadership team.”