"On the heels of the GSA spending scandal in Vegas, employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs are now under investigation over a pair of Orlando conferences that ran $5 million and featured a pricey video parody of the movie "Patton."
The price tag on those conferences, held last summer, far exceeds the roughly $830,000 spent by the General Services Administration in Las Vegas. The VA inspector general's office says it's been investigating since April and is preparing to release a report by next month.
The potential spending scandal sequel has now caught the eye of House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who fired off a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki last week pressing the department for answers.
Issa revealed several conference details, including the claim that $52,000 was spent "to produce an 18-minute video starring a paid actor satirizing the opening scene from the movie Patton" -- the 1970 film starring George C. Scott as Gen. George Patton.
Issa questioned why the VA hired an outside group to make the video when the department "has videographers and editors on staff."
Issa also wrote that another $84,000 was spent on "promotional items such as branded pens, highlighters, hand sanitizers and USB drives." (More)