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Blog: 'Lavish' spending by Rick West at NMAI


"A long-awaited audit of expense reports for Smithsonian museum directors and governing board members is expected to be released later this year, but will not reveal the kinds of excesses found recently among other executives, the institution's inspector general said today.

The review was requested after a series of reports in The Washington Post exposed spending abuses among Smithsonian managers. Inspector General A. Sprightley Ryan found "lavish" and "extravagant" spending by W. Richard West Jr., the former director of the National Museum of the American Indian, in a report released Wednesday.

A report released earlier in the year found spending abuses by Pilar O'Leary, director of the Latino affairs office of the Smithsonian.

"We certainly found problems with policies," Ryan said in an interview. "But we did not find any individuals with problems anywhere near what we found with Rick West and Pilar O'Leary. They are truly outliers.""

Get the Story:
'Lavish' Spending Not Found Elsewhere At (The Washington Post 10/30)

Inspector General Report:
Review of Travel Expenses of W. Richard West Junior (October 28, 2008)

Related Stories:
Report looks into Rick West's NMAI spending (10/30)
Gover thinks few will remember West's spending (1/21)
Harjo: On Rick West, Kevin Gover and NMAI (1/15)
Rick West: 'Gossip' journalism in ICT and WaPo (1/11)
Opinion: Rick West's abuse of power at NMAI (1/11)
Editorial: Rick West lost sight of basic mission (1/7)
Editorial: Rick West's extravagant lifestyle (1/4)
Ex-NMAI director West spent over $250K on travel (12/28)
Secrecy shrouded hiring of new NMAI director (09/19)
Gover outlines vision for Indian museum (9/18)
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Whites outnumber Indians on NMAI search panel (9/17)
Editorial: Kevin Gover, experience and NMAI (9/14)
Gover defends record after criticism from Cobell (9/13)
Cobell blasts Gover's appointment to NMAI (9/12)
Kevin Gover to take over NMAI on December 2 (9/12)
Kevin Gover named new director of NMAI (9/11)