Safavian found guilty on obstruction of justice charges

A federal jury today convicted former Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator David Safavian on four counts of obstructing justice and lying under oath for his time spent as chief of staff at the General Services Administration.

Safavian, who resigned from OFPP just days before his mid-September arrest, is the first government official found guilty of crimes associated with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

In an order released late Tuesday by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, judge Paul Friedman said Safavian can file for a new trial by July 10, and scheduled an Oct. 12 hearing to determine Safavian's sentence.

Safavian's lead attorney, Barbara Ann Van Gelder of Wiley, Rein, and Fielding LLP of Washington, did not immediately return a call for comment.

According to The Washington Post, Safavian faces up to 20 years in prison.

The FBI targeted Safavian for making false statements under oath to GSA's ethics officer and inspector general. The court found he aided Abramoff in trying to acquire GSA-controlled property in the Washington, D.C., area. while working at GSA.

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