Hilton Denies it Charged Justice Dept. $16 Just for Muffin

By Allan Lengel
Apparently the controversy over the Justice Department paying $16 a muffin at a conference isn’t quite over yet.

Now comes the Capital Hilton hotel, which charged $4,200 for $250 muffins at a Justice Department conference in 2009.

The hotel is denying the charge was just for muffins, contrary to an Inspector General report, which chided the department for excessive spending on beverages and food at conferences, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times reports that the hotel says the $16-per-person muffin included fresh fruit, coffee and juice, plus tax and gratuity.

“Hilton has a long-standing practice of working with government agencies to plan meetings and events that fall within their budgets,” the spokesman said, suggesting the IG report didn’t reflect that, the LA Times reported. “Dining receipts are often abbreviated and do not reflect the full pre-contracted menu and service provided…”

The LA Times reported that the Justice Department said: “We stand by our report.”

The IG report, which triggered an avalanche of criticism, also cited other excessive spending: $10 for cookies, $5 cans of soda, $8 cups of coffee, and over $32 per person for Cracker Jacks and other snacks.

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