(Washington Times) In an increasingly familiar scene, a high-ranking former agency official went to Capitol Hill Wednesday and pleaded the Fifth Amendment.

This time, it was a former assistant secretary at the Department of Veteran Affairs who refused to testify to a House panel investigating a pair of agency conferences in Florida in 2011 criticized for lavish spending.

John Sepulveda oversaw the pair of human resources training conferences that cost more than $6 million combined, drawing comparisons to an infamous 2010 General Services Administration conference scandal that drew taxpayer ire.

“It’s a privilege to remain silent, sir,” Mr. Sepulveda told House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, California Republican.

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