The same agency that sparked a firestorm during the Obama administration for lavish spending at a Vegas conference – complete with a widely mocked photo of a grinning fed lounging in a hot tub – is back in the headlines. This time, for an incident involving a former official, vodka and … yada yada yada, some sex on a roof.
The details from the 2017 liaison emerged in a newly released inspector general report. The watchdog’s investigation found multiple violations committed by Brennan Hart, a former associate administrator and acting chief of staff at the General Services Administration.
According to the 2018-dated report, Hart admitted to investigators that he kept a bottle of vodka at his desk, while stating he only drank after business hours. In the same interview, he also admitted to having “sexual relations” at GSA headquarters in July 2017 with a White House staffer, whom the report does not identify.
Brennan Hart was cited in a GSA watchdog report for drinking and having sexual relations at the central office in Washington.
The visit began with Hart fixing a drink using the bottle of vodka. The encounter developed from there.
“He said their sexual activity began in the Administrator suite area and culminated with oral sex on the rooftop of the Central Office,” the report said. “Hart stated this occurred on only one occasion.”
WRC in Washington first reported on the IG’s findings, obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Hart’s employment ended in March 2018, the same month the IG’s report was transmitted to agency leaders and the White House counsel.
An agency spokeswoman said in a statement the GSA holds “all employees to the highest ethical standards and takes appropriate actions to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations.” Further, the spokeswoman said: “GSA does not tolerate inappropriate use of alcohol in the workplace or any violation of government regulations regarding alcohol. Further, GSA does not tolerate the misuse of government property by any GSA employee."
The inspector general flagged multiple violations, for the sexual conduct at headquarters and for the alcohol consumption in the office. Hart did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
This photo of then-GSA official Jeffrey Neely, during a conference, fueled criticism from Congress in 2012 about the agency’s spending.
The report detailed an interview with another GSA official who confirmed he drank alcohol with Hart at the central office in July 2017 after work hours. Further, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy told investigators she “often permits the consumption of alcohol in her office … by her immediate staff after business hours on Fridays,” though is “very careful about such approvals.”
As for the White House staffer, the report indicated agents tried to interview the official but were told they’d need approval by the White House counsel. Their communication with the Trump White House apparently ended there.
The agency is responsible for federal office space and buildings. Despite the seemingly mundane mission, the GSA attracted the scorn and scrutiny of Congress back in 2012 after lavish conference spending was revealed.