From the Dayton Daily news, waste by the numbers.
The past 12 months have been a dangerous time to be a government coffer.
As 2012 wraps to a close, the I-Team decided to look back on some of the year’s biggest stories of waste, fraud or abuse of public funds. Maybe we’ll hold an awards gala; we could call it the “I-Teamies,” or maybe the “Wasties.”
Here are the finalists:
Who could forget the U.S. General Services Administration conference scandal? This previously anonymous agency was thrust into the limelight after government investigators found a 2010 GSA conference in Las Vegas cost taxpayers $823,000.
Some morsels: $146,000 in food (including $7,000 in sushi and $19 artisanal cheese plates), $3,200 to hire a mind-reader and more than $100,000 spent so federal bureaucrats could “scout out” possible locations for the party.
A music video produced by a GSA employee (unfortunately titled “American Idle”) just poured gas on the flames. Heads (and eyes) rolled.
Elsewhere, the public learned of $24 million — paid for by the federal stimulus bill — that the state of West Virginia spent on overpowered Internet routers, thanks to excellent reporting by the* Charleston Gazette*.
The $22,600 routers are powerful enough to serve an entire college campus but were used in rural libraries and schools, where $500 routers would have sufficed. That’s kind of like building an eight-lane highway as a driveway into your house. Some routers went unused and remained in storage.
In sheer eye-popping numbers, former small-town Illinois comptroller Rita Crundwell takes the cake. She admitted in November to embezzling more than $53 million from Dixon (pop. 15,000, and the childhood home of Ronald Reagan to boot) since 1990, according to the Chicago Tribune.