A spoof video for the GSA’s spendthrifty 2010 Western Regions Conference in Las Vegas was uncovered during the Inspector General’s year-long investigation. It features a Hawaii Field Office employee identified as Hank Terlaje singing his rendition of Travie McCoy’s and Bruno Mars’ “I Wanna Be a Billionaire.”
The video opens with him strumming an ukulele at his desk. A “To Do” list on the whiteboard behind him has just one item: “Lunch.” It then transitions into the rap part of the song with a blue screen that reads “Hawaii Represent.”
“I’d have a road show like (Acting Regional GSA Administrator Jeffrey) Neely, every time you see me rolling on 20s, yeah, in my GOV,” he sings. “Spend BA 61 all on fun. ATF can’t touch GS-15 guns! Cause I buy everything your field office can’t afford. Every GS-5 would get a Top Hat award. Donate my vacation, love to the nation, I’ll never be under OIG investigation.”
The video, part of a contest among the four regional offices, won an award at the training conference. Terlaje was named honorary GSA commissioner for the day. Huffington Post has more clips from the event.
The video shows Terlaje being interviewed on the “Red Carpet” outside of the conference room. When asked, theoretically, what his first action would be as commissioner, he jokes, “Increase the pay cap on federal salaries so the board of directors can get a raise.”
He also comments on why Las Vegas is considered the ninth island. Aside from the fact that many Hawaii residents have moved there, he said there are many similarities. “Las Vegas got sun, sand, bikinis and martinis.”
The Hawaii Field Office did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday. Acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini deferred to his communications team.
“This video is another example of the complete lack of judgment exhibited during the 2010 Western Regions Conference,” GSA spokesman Greg Mecher said. “Our agency continues to be appalled by this indefensible behavior, and we are taking every step possible to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
Mecher, located in Washington, D.C., couldn’t say whether there would be any fallout at the Hawaii Field Office over the video. He said more information would likely be available Monday.
Tangherlini took on the acting role April 3 after GSA Administrator Martha Johnson resigned amid the IG’s report on the excessive amount of taxpayer dollars spent at the conference. She fired two of her deputies and suspended others before stepping down.
The agency, which manages buildings and real estate for the federal government, spent some $823,000 on 300 employees at the convention. The IG’s report says some of the money went toward a comedian, a mind reader, commemorative coin sets, a clown and pricey shrimp.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee that oversees GSA will hold a hearing April 19 to consider the issue. Rep. Jeff Denham, who chairs the subcommittee, told ABC News that he expects “detailed explanations on how and why these abuses occurred from those who have been fired or placed on leave.”
“I’m not sure what purpose it served,” he said in an email to DC808, Civil Beat’s Washington, D.C. blog. “It was surprising to say the least but not indicative of the experience I have had with the agency throughout my career.”
Tangherlini released this letter when he joined GSA as its acting administrator this week.
Johnson sent this memo to the IG on April 2 in response to the Feb. 12 “Draft Management Deficiency Report.”
Terlaje apparently has some musical talent. This MySpace video shows him, presumably the same Hank Terlaje, playing with the TradeRoots. Below is the award-winning “American Idle” video for the conference.
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