House committee chair wants answers over extravagant bathroom makeover

by: Scott MacFarlane Updated:

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WASHINGTON —

Channel 2 Action News is getting results after the head of a powerful House committee saw the story of an expensive bathroom makeover for a government official.

Channel 2's Scott MacFarlane broke the story earlier this month and now the U.S. House Oversight Subcommittee wants hearings into the agency responsible.

MacFarlane obtained photos showing the $222,000 renovation of the U.S. interior secretary's private office bathroom, which sits on the sixth floor of the U.S. Interior Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The price of the renovation costs more than many American homes.

Among the items installed in the renovation were custom cabinetry, which cost $26,000, a faucet that cost $689 and a vintage tissue holder which cost $65.

One of the most extravagant additions to the bathroom was a Sub Zero refrigerator/freezer that cost $3,500.

Republican Rep. John Mica is the chair of the U.S. House Oversight Subcommittee and blames the agency responsible for federal office space, the General Services Administration.

"The bathroom in the interior secretary's office is the poster child for government waste," Mica told MacFarlane.

Mica said he'll be staging hearings into whether the General Services Administration has been squandering taxpayer money not just on the bathroom, but on other federal buildings.

The congressman said too many taxpayer-funded offices and properties are sitting vacant under the General Services Administration's watch.

"We can't afford to keep racking up debt and not cut government waste," Mica said.

Construction of the bathroom actually began in 2007, but the photos only became available after MacFarlane requested them through the Freedom of Information Act.

But now, the General Services Administration has publicly posted its internal review of the controversial interior secretary bathroom, so many people have been asking to see the details.

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