The irony of Bob Peck’s ouster from the General Services Administration today over lavish spending is that he spent much of his recent stint there trying to save money.
For the second time, Peck is out as head of the GSA’s Public Building’s Service. Last time he left after five years in the job and then went to work for the real estate services firm Staubach (now part of Jones Lang LaSalle). This time he leaves following a report from the GSA’s inspector general outlining big spending on a 2010 department event in Nevada.
The report outlines $835,000 in expenses on a meeting for 300 people. This includes multiple trips by GSA staff to “scout” pricey Vegas hotels and $3,200 for a mind reader for the meeting.
Peck, reached while traveling in Ohio, declined to comment on the IG’s report. Asked whether he had submitted his resignation, Peck said: “I can’t comment. I can’t say anything.”
Before this most recent stint, the former Green Beret and a staffer to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan ran the public buildings service for five years under President Clinton. When he was nominated to return to the post, in August 2009, he called it “the best job in real estate.”
Since returning to the job from the private sector, he has focused on reducing energy usage in GSA’s portfolio and minimizing the number of square feet the agency uses per employee. He took criticism from Republican members of Congress, however, for not doing more to utilize buildings like the Old Post Office Pavilion, which the GSA plans to redevelop with Donald Trump’s hotel company.
In Martha Johnson’s stead steps another familiar face to many in Washington: Dan Tangherlini, former city administrator under mayor Adrian M. Fenty who has been serving as assistant secretary for management at the Department of the Treasury since 2009. He is also former interim head of Metro and of the city’s department of transportation, where he is credited with jumpstarting the city’s streetcar program.
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