The former head of the GSA, Martha Johnson, reflects on the scandal that uprooted her entire life:
When Martha Johnson thinks back to that Monday in April 2012 when she resigned as head of the General Services Administration, she remembers a day as still as the hands on a broken clock. She had spent the weekend practicing her resignation speech in front of the mirror. She repeated it over and over until her face had memorized how to form the words without twitching. Until her voice could say it without warbling. Until her eyes could stop all that blinking.
Finally it was time. She walked into the 2 p.m. senior staff meeting at the GSA, gave her speech, then immediately walked out the door. She snatched her coat from the closet by the elevator where she had strategically left it. No goodbyes or roundabout routes. It was an exit designed to be faster than tears. When she got outside the building, the gray spring morning was cast here and there with clouds. She remembers the stillness.
Two years later, time hasn’t quite started up again.
Johnson was the main person who took the fall when a conference scandal uprooted the federal bureaucracy a couple of years ago. The conference drew high scrutiny for the agency’s lavish spending.
13:41 // 4 months ago