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Office furniture, care of the local penitentiary
Office furniture, care of the local penitentiary
The Energy Department spent $73,150 on 115 office chairs -- 25 mid-back and 90 high-back -- for their Arvada, Colo., field office.

It's not that the old chairs had workers screaming for more lumbar support. The field office has just taken on more than 100 new employees for new energy projects funded by the Recovery Act.

"The office has been given a significant chunk of Recovery Act money to support research and development of clean energy projects," said Charlie Powers, spokesman for the Energy Department. "We had to add significant staff to take on the projects -- and we needed something for them to work on."

One other interesting tidbit: The chairs were made by prisoners as part of the government's UNICOR program. UNICOR, created by Congress in 1934, hires inmates to make everything from flatware to t-shirts to safety goggles.

NEXT: Lots of lawyers
Last updated September 04 2009: 1:56 PM ET
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