Operations

Smithsonian Staffer Investigated for Abusing Expense Account

LCT Staff
Posted on April 16, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The head of the Smithsonian Latino Center resigned after an investigation found she abused her expense account to fund her extravagant use of spas, luxury hotels and frequent limousine rides, according to a report released by the institution. Pilar O'Leary, 39, billed the nonprofit museum complex for "extravagant" and "lavish travel expenses," the Smithsonian Institution inspector general found.

In one case, she charged the Smithsonian for a limo she took across the National Mall from one Smithsonian building to another, according to the report, which was released Monday. O'Leary also solicited free tickets to events like the Latin Grammys and the Billboard Latin Music Awards and Conference, the report said.

"The investigation revealed that O'Leary has not always acted in the best interests of the Smithsonian," the report concluded. "Her conduct has violated the basic ethical rules of the Institution."

Source: Associated Press

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