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GSA official at heart of conference scandal leaves agency

The General Services Administration official at the center of the Las Vegas convention scandal has left the agency.  

Jeff Neely, who played a big role in organizing the costly and controversial 2010 gala for western region GSA employees, had previously been on paid administrative leave. It's unclear whether he resigned or was forced out. A GSA spokesman released a brief statement saying: "As of today, he's no longer employed with GSA."

Spokesman Adam Elkington also said the agency is still "completing its review" of the 2010 conference "and pursuing all available avenues for appropriate disciplinary action against those responsible."

Neely had become something of a poster child for the lavish conference, which cost taxpayers more than $820,000. He was among the GSA officials called to testify before Congress, but he repeatedly cited his Fifth Amendment right and declined to answer questions when he appeared on Capitol Hill. 

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said Thursday that Neely's decision to stay mum at the hearing "has left many questions unanswered." 

"In fact, the problems at GSA may far exceed his involvement in the waste of taxpayer dollars that has outraged Americans. The committee will continue to examine GSA's culture of wasteful spending," he said.