Ex-GSA official says he didn't know taxpayers would be billed for party

Former GSA employees in on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 17, 2012, prior to testifying before a House Transportation subcommittee hearing to investigate an excessive conference at a Las Vegas resort by GSA officials.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON -- A fired General Services Administration official says he didn't know taxpayers would be billed $1,960 for a party in his luxury suite at a Las Vegas resort.

Robert Peck said Tuesday he had paid for some food out of his own pocket and was surprised when additional food arrived -- eventually paid for by taxpayers.

The agency's new leadership has demanded the amount be repaid and Peck said he would do so.

Former GSA chief apologizes for "extravagant" Las Vegas conference

Peck testified before the House Transportation Committee on the second day of hearings into excessive spending at the agency's Las Vegas conference in October 2010 and on other travel.

He was fired as Public Buildings Commissioner after the inspector general reported some $823,000 was spent at the conference in violation of agency rules.