The Washington Post

$16 muffins? No, says Hilton.

The government did not pay $16 apiece for breakfast muffins at a Justice Department conference, no matter what the department’s inspector general thinks.

So says Hilton Worldwide, which hosted the 2009 legal training conference in Washington. Even the IG’s own report issued this week acknowledges that the government got more than muffins for its money.

Hilton Worldwide, which manages and franchises hotels including the Capital Hilton where the conference took place, says the price included not only breakfast baked goods but also fresh fruit, coffee, tea, soft drinks, tax and tips. It says the report misinterpreted its invoices, which often use shorthand and don’t reflect the full menu provided.

The IG’s audit of excessive spending at 10 Justice Department conferences was one of those news stories that make the public sit up and take notice.

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