9/19/2005

Former White House Official Arrested - Yahoo! News

Bush surrounds himself with corrupt criminals. What did you expect, red voter, when you elected the first guy with a criminal record to the WH ? -- law

WASHINGTON - A former Bush administration official was arrested Monday on charges he made false statements and obstructed a federal investigation into his dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to court documents and government officials.

David Safavian, then-chief of staff of the General Services Administration and a former Abramoff lobbying associate, concealed from federal investigators that Abramoff was seeking to do business with GSA when Safavian joined him on a golf trip to Scotland in 2002, according to an
FBI affidavit and the officials.

At the time, FBI agent Jeffrey A. Reising said in the affidavit, a lobbyist — identified separately as Abramoff — had enlisted Safavian's help in trying to gain control of 40 acres of land at the Federal Research Center at White Oak in Silver Spring, Md., for a private high school that Abramoff helped establish and supported.

For his part, Safavian edited a letter the lobbyist was preparing to send to GSA, and arranged and attended a meeting involving a GSA official, the lobbyist's wife and others to discuss leasing the property, the affidavit said.

Abramoff told his wife to use her maiden name at the meeting because Safavian sought to play down Abramoff's involvement, the affidavit said, citing an e-mail from Abramoff.

Safavian was given clearance to go on the August 2002 golf trip after telling GSA's ethics officer that the lobbyist "has no business before GSA," the affidavit said.

Nine people, including Rep. Bob Ney (news, bio, voting record), R-Ohio, made the trip and played golf on the fabled Old Course at St. Andrews. Safavian paid $3,100 for the travel, "in the exercise of discretion," he said, as quoted in the affidavit. The total cost was more than $100,000, the affidavit said.

Safavian moved to the Office of Management and Budget last year, becoming the administration's top procurement official. He resigned that post, effective Friday, OMB spokesman Alex Conant said.

Former White House Official Arrested - Yahoo! News

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home