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Those Muffins Did Not Cost $16 Each, Hilton Says

Kevin D. Weeks
for NPR


That's what you might say about one much-reported part of the much-discussed report this week that the Justice Department bought some very expensive food for its conferences in recent years.

Hilton Worldwide says the muffins it provided for a 2009 Justice conference in Washington did not cost $16 each, as was reported by Justice's inspector general.

Instead, as The Associated Press writes, Hilton says muffins were part of a breakfast that "included fresh fruit, coffee, juice, muffins, tax and gratuity, for an inclusive price of $16 per person." It adds that "abbreviated" dining receipts reviewed by the IG may not have reflected "the full pre-contracted menu and service provided."

A spokesman for the IG's office, Jay Lerner, told the AP that "we stand by our report."

As we reported Wednesday, the IG's report covered spending in the last years of the George W. Bush administration and the first year of the Obama administration. And, Justice says it has already instituted reforms and reduced spending on conferences.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.