Jail for White House buying chief

19 October 2009

20 October 2009 | Jake Kanter

The White House's former head of procurement policy has been sentenced to a year in prison for lying about his relationship with Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

David Safavian, formerly the top purchasing official in George W. Bush's administration, was convicted in December last year of one count of obstructing justice and three counts of making false statements about information he provided to Abramoff.

The jury heard that Safavian (pictured) assisted Abramoff in his attempts to purchase property from US procurement agency the General Services Administration (GSA), and the lobbyist took him on a "luxury golf trip" to Scotland and London.

Safavian's false statements attempted to conceal information disclosed to Abramoff around the time of the trip. He continued to mask details about his relationship with Abramoff after he left the GSA in November 2004 to become administrator for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget.

Safavian was found guilty in June 2006 (News, 6 July 2006), but the case was later thrown out by the Court of Appeals.

He was last week sentenced by US District Court Judge Paul Friedman and will also be supervised for two years after his release from jail.


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