Published: Aug 14, 2012 7:17 AM EDT
Updated: Aug 14, 2012 7:17 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - A Republican lawmaker is raising questions about spending at training conferences held in Florida last year by the Veterans Affairs Department that have prompted an internal investigation at the agency.
 
Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said the VA authorized $9 million for a series of conferences and said a preliminary investigation has found that planning trips for the conferences cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. He says VA employees reportedly received gifts including alcohol, concert tickets and spa treatments. Miller, who is from Florida, says VA officials had assured his committee earlier that oversight of spending was adequate.
 
The agency said in a statement that the conferences were for legitimate training purposes, but the VA's inspector general is looking into allegations of misconduct.