Deborah Neely wasn’t always just sharing husband Jeffrey E. Neely’s hotel rooms at resorts from Las Vegas to the Pacific islands. She handled party arrangements, directed event planners to spend government money and arranged lodging for relatives on the GSA trip to Las Vegas in 2010, an unusual role revealed in transcripts of interviews that the agency’s inspector general’s office conducted with Jeffrey Neely, as well as in congressional hearings.
Her role as the “first lady of Region 9” — as an investigator called her — shows a management culture in GSA’s Pacific Rim region that not only allowed the $823,000 Las Vegas gathering for 300 people and overspending on other conferences but also openly condoned perks for managers and their family members.
“It’s yo birfday. .?.?. We gonna pawty like iz yo birfday!” Deborah Neely said in an e-mail to her husband, according to documents.
“Mr. Neely and his wife believe they were some sort of agency royalty who used taxpayer funds to bankroll their lavish lifestyle,” Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the oversight panel, said Monday.