Those comments didn't shield Fink from a three-hour tongue-lashing from the panel.
Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., called the spending for the California conference "at best maliciously self-indulgent."
Top panel Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland said he viewed the "Star Trek" video at 3 a.m. Thursday and said, "I tried to get to the redeeming value. Can't get there." And Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., called the video "an insult to the memory of 'Star Trek.' "
Fink sat stoically as TV screens in the hearing room showed excerpts of that nearly six-minute video, in which he and other IRS employees wore "Star Trek" uniforms on a set resembling the bridge of the series' Starship Enterprise and Fink sported pointy ears and a black wig.
"It's embarrassing and I apologize," he told the lawmakers. He called the video "a well-intentioned way to use humor to open the conference."
George's report concluded that rather than saving money by negotiating lower room rates with the three Anaheim hotels, the IRS paid a standard government rate of $135 per room but accepted perks in return.
Asked why the IRS didn't negotiate for lower room rates, Fink said, "I was not aware we had the ability to do that."