Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Now Here’s a Real Slimeball

The governing board of the Smithsonian Institution announced that it accepted the resignation of its top official, Lawrence M. Small, after an internal audit showed that the museum had paid for his routine use of lavish perks like chauffeured cars, private jets, top-rated hotels and catered meals.

The appropriately named Mr. Small, 66, is a former executive at Citibank and the mortgage financier Fannie Mae. He had headed the 161-year-old Smithsonian since January 2000. He submitted his resignation as secretary over the weekend, and the governing board unanimously accepted it, effective immediately. So impressed were the governing board with the enormity of his malfeasance, that Mr. Small will not receive a severance package.

The announcement of Mr. Small’s resignation comes four days after Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, persuaded the Senate to freeze a $17 million increase in the Smithsonian’s financing, singling out what he called “out-of-control spending.”

Mr. Grassley was especially upset over Mr. Small’s compensation, which totaled $915,698 this year, and “hundreds of thousands” in reimbursements during his tenure for items like “chandelier cleaning and pool heaters” at Mr. Small’s home. [story].


  1. #1 A
    March 27, 2007

    This is disheartening, and yet not all that surprising. I selfishly hope that this doesn’t affect my job funding for this summer.

  2. #2 Library Diva
    March 28, 2007

    What a dirtbag. That’s as bad as the accountant in my hometown who went to prison for embezzeling from his employer — the Catholic Diocese.

  3. #3 Bill Glassby
    March 30, 2007

    This guy is representative of the GSE’s (Fannie and Freddie) from whence he came.

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