Lifestyle & Belief

Report claiming Justice Department bought $16 muffins proves false


AIRWAY HEIGHTS, WA - NOVEMBER 10: Freshly baked muffins are run through a metal detector, before they leave the Airway Heights Corrections Center Food Factory, November 10, 2005 in Airway Heights, Washington. Inmates produce frozen meals, baked goods, and tray lunches for more than 16,000 inmates incarcerated in the Washington State prison system, and meals for jails and senior food programs. The Airway Heights food factory is part of Correctional Industries and is one of 32 businesses the state operates behind prison walls to provide jobs for inmates. The facility is in it's tenth year of operations and provides up to 250 imates with work experience, job skills, and wages.
(Photo by Jeff T. Green/Getty Images)


Jeff T. Green

Government officials are learning that sometimes, numbers do lie.

The U.S. Justice Department's office of the inspector general is sorry for blaming members of its agency for spending $16 on muffins at a five-day conference at the Capital Hilton in Washington D.C. back in 2009. They retracted the scathing report that was published in Septmeber 2009 and regret the "signficant negative publicity" it has brought for the department, the NY Times reports.

The original report claimed lawyers spent $4,200 on 250 muffins and $2,880 for 300 cookies and brownies, but the price of the purchases proved to be misleading. As it turned out, the price for the items also included fruit, coffee, juice, taxes and gratuity in addition to being part of a hotel package that allowed free use over select hotel spaces for the conference.

“We regret the error in our original report,” acting inspector general Cynthia Schnedar said in the revised October audit report. The inspector general office said in the report that despite its error, the importance of government conference expenditures being managed carefully and responsibly must be remembered.

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