Ex-Director To Repay Smithsonian: Report Criticizes Spending By Indian Museum's West

Travel and other spending by the Smithsonian's former American Indian Museum director was imprudent and at times "lavish," but most of it conformed with institution rules, the Smithsonian inspector general said in a report distributed to Congress yesterday.

W. Richard West Jr., who retired last year as founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian, has agreed to reimburse the Smithsonian $9,700 for payments that he should not have received, said Inspector General A. Sprightley Ryan. Other expenses might have to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income on his tax returns.

"It is regrettable that Mr. West's expenditures were not more in keeping with the prudence demanded of a nonprofit leader and, more importantly, that the Institution, because of its anemic oversight, permitted these types of expenditures and errors," Ryan said.

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