An RTC Director with Taste for Art Is Recalled to DC

WASHINGTON -- The Resolution Trust Corp. is hauling one of its regional directors, Michael J. Martinelli, back to the Washington headquarters after news broke that he spent $26,000 of government money on art to decorate his office.

It could have been worse for Mr. Martinelli, who was based at the RTC North Central Region in Overland Park, Kan. Last week, Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., wanted to kick him off the government payroll.

No one at the savings and loan bailout agency is saying just what work Mr. Martinelli will be doing once he arrives. "His skills will be utilized," an RTC spokeswoman assured.

Mr. Martinelli was a virtual unknown in Washington until Kansas newspapers reported he had spent $26,000 of the taxpayers' money to adorn his office with original artwork.

He told the Washington Post he was just trying to create a pleasant working environment to keep his employees happy.

"If someone has an opinion about $26,000 worth of print work that we have on our walls - c'est la guerre," said Mr. Martinelli.

Sen. Dole sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady stating: "I think it would be entirely appropriate for the RTC to say bon voyage to Mr. Martinelli."

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