Justice Dept Audit Shows Lavish Overspending: Coconut Lobster Skewers, $4 Swedish Meatballs
It doesn't rival the Pentagon's $600 toilet seat, but the Justice Department can fork over a mean $4 meatball.
An internal Justice audit, released Friday, showed the department spent nearly $7 million to plan, host or send employees to 10 conferences over the last two years. This included paying $4 per meatball at one lavish dinner and spreading an average of $25 worth of snacks around to each participant at a movie-themed party.
There was plenty, too, for those needing to satisfy a sweet tooth.
More than $13,000 was spent on cookies and brownies for 1,542 people who attended a four-day "Weed and Seed" conference in August 2005, according to the audit by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine. And a "networking" session replete with butterfly shrimp, coconut lobster skewers and Swedish meatballs at a Community Oriented Policing Services conference in July 2006 cost more than $60,000.