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Source: US Commerce Department

This top government official spent $50,000 remodeling his office on taxpayers' dime



Stefan Selig, the Commerce Department's undersecretary for international trade, far exceeded the federal daily spending limits by tens of thousands of dollars or more, according to the Washington Post.

The former Wall Street banker spent more than $50,000 to remodel his office.

That's ten times more than the limit the federal government allocates to upgrade a workspace, according to the Inspector General's report released on Thursday, which identifies Selig only as "a high-ranking Political Appointee."

These trips included stays at luxury hotels around the world...

Selig started a senior position as an Obama political appointee at the Department of Commerce in November 2013.

Since then, he's spent his tenure living a lavish lifestyle at the expense of hardworking taxpayers.

Selig's remodeling stint included repainting his office, lighting installations, remodeling two bathrooms and a new 50-inch television, according to the report.

FILE - Pixabay

The report also showed he liked to travel in style.

"These trips included stays at luxury hotels around the world that were chosen primarily on the basis of Political Appointee's personal preference, not mission necessity."

Here's a few of the ways he spent tax dollars, according to the Inspector General:

  • $1,150 per night at a luxury hotel in Geneva, Switzerland (per-diem rate is $350)
  • $1,800 for rides in a luxury SUV during a two-day trip to Boston.
  • $50,000 for changes to his D.C. office suite, 10 times the $5,000 office renovation stipend federal law grants political appointees
  • $270 per night at a Memphis, Tennessee hotel, 240% higher than the standard per-diem rate.
  • $450 for a luxury hotel in New York City, 230% higher than the standard per-diem rate.
Selig 'clearly likes nice hotels[;] [w]e all know that'

One assistant told investigators her boss would make jokes about having to stay in "crappy hotels."

While Selig's job responsibilities included traveling on official business around 20 times in the first year, the report found the reimbursement was above the standard per diem rate.

No word yet on whether the Inspector General will prosecute or if any repercussion will come from the investigation.

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