By SETH BORENSTEIN
AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal agency needs illusionist David Copperfield to help escape from criticism over plans to hire a magician to train agency leaders using "magic tools."
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is in hot water because on May 1 it posted a notice seeking a magician motivational speaker for a leadership conference in suburban Maryland. The agency said presentations should include magic tricks, puzzles, brain teasers, word games and humor. It comes after the General Services Administration was embroiled in a scandal involving a Las Vegas conference that cost nearly $1 million and included a mind-reader.
Congressmen and senators called NOAA's plans wasteful.
After NOAA's notice was reported by Government Executive magazine, the agency cancelled the magic gig. An agency spokesman said NOAA's top lawyer is looking into the plans.