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Memos he provided to justify the more expensive hotels said conference-rate rooms at the hotels hosting the conferences were sold out.

U.S. Attorney D also attended a conference at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Palm Springs, Calif., and stayed at the resort, but at a $219 room rate — higher than the $159 conference rate.

U.S. Attorney D’s secretary told investigators her boss instructed her to book the pricier accommodations “in order to have a room with a better view.”

“She said that the U.S. attorney told her to write that the conferences were ‘sold out’ in order to justify his decision to stay at a preferred hotel,” the report said.

U.S. Attorney D told investigators his secretary was responsible for each of the hotel rooms in excess of the government rate, “and that if she said otherwise, it was to cover for her own misconduct,” the report said.

In another case, U.S. Attorney B, traveling to a resort for a conference in Tucson, Ariz., scheduled to run from Sunday to Wednesday actually stayed at the resort from Friday to Monday. While costs for all the nights exceeded the government travel rate, the $179 Saturday night stay was nearly double the $93 the government allows for hotel stays in Tucson.

That U.S. attorney declined to be interviewed by investigators. In an e-mail response, she told the inspector general she expected her hotel costs to be reimbursed by a third party and thought the government rate lodging was not a concern of hers.

“She also argued that her secretary was responsible for third-party reimbursements and that she should not be held responsible for her secretary’s failures,” the report said.

The report also detailed a number of individual cases, including one unidentified prosecutor who charged the government for weekend travel to a satellite office that coincided with the times and location of his son’s baseball tournaments.

The government rate, which is determined by the General Services Administration (GSA), varies depending on the travel location. Employees may book rooms up to three times the government rate if the hotel is the location of a prearranged meeting or conference, if lodging costs are inflated because of unrelated special events going on at the same time, because of a broad and vague “mission requirements” clause usually related to security, or for other reasons approved within the agency of the employee doing the traveling.

The inspector general report said that a little more than half of the trips that exceeded the government rate were justified by one of the exceptions.

The report also faulted the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA), which serves as a liaison with the Justice Department and is supposed to approve out-of-district travel, for failing to provide proper oversight.

The inspector general recommended clarifying who can authorize travel expenses and the steps that must be taken to find government travel rates, strengthening requirements for documentation and simplifying travel policies.

EOUSA Director H. Marshall Jarrett said in response to the inspector general’s findings that his office had implemented improved controls over travel and a dedicated travel unit had begun reviewing and approving travel authorizations and vouchers.

“As a result, controls over the United States Attorney travel approval process have significantly improved,” he said.