The $16 muffin myth is officially debunked.
The Justice Department’s Inspector General — the very same entity which cooked up the $16 muffin figure in their audit of DOJ’s conference spending — issued a statement to Bloomberg Businessweek backing out of their original claim.“Since our report was issued, the Capital Hilton has stated that other food and beverage items, such as coffee, tea, and fruit, were included in the charged amount,” the statement said.
That wouldn’t do much to quash the $16 muffin figure, which has already spread like so much frosting and even caused Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IW) to call for someone to be fired (check out some of Grassley’s expenses here).
All this doesn’t mean that the IG report didn’t flag some potential issues. As Bloomberg reports:
Muffins aside, the IG’s report points up other instances where the Justice Dept. overpaid for sweet treats. At a 2009 Justice conference in San Francisco, the government was billed $32 per person for a snack of popcorn, Cracker Jack, and candy bars. Department officials didn’t jump up to dispute that part of the audit. Says Gina Talamona, a Justice spokeswoman: “We agree that excessive spending of the types identified in the OIG report should not occur.”