Abramoff Scandal Leads To White House Deal For Orthodox Day School

Aw man, this is just ugly:

The Bush administration’s top federal procurement official resigned Friday and was arrested yesterday, accused of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s dealings with the federal government. It was the first criminal complaint filed against a government official in the ongoing corruption probe related to Abramoff’s activities in Washington.
The complaint, filed by the FBI, alleges that David H. Safavian, 38, a White House procurement official involved until last week in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, made repeated false statements to government officials and investigators about a golf trip with Abramoff to Scotland in 2002.
[…] At the time of the golf trip, Safavian was chief of staff at the General Services Administration, where ethics rules flatly prohibited the receipt of a gift from any person seeking an official action by the agency. When Safavian asked GSA ethics officers for permission to go on the trip, he assured them in writing that Abramoff “has no business before GSA,” according to the affidavit signed by FBI special agent Jeffrey A. Reising.
Reising alleged, however, that Abramoff had by then already secretly enlisted Safavian in an effort to buy 40 acres of land that GSA managed in Silver Spring for use as the campus of a Hebrew school Abramoff founded. Safavian also allegedly tried to help Abramoff lease space for Abramoff’s clients in an old post office building downtown.

For more info, see our previous reportage on this subject. And for an ethical discussion of Abramoff’s use of dirty money for tzedakah, check out Richard Silvertsein’s excellent essay on Beliefnet.
Hey Jack — It’s still Elul! You have time yet to do teshuva!

One thought on “Abramoff Scandal Leads To White House Deal For Orthodox Day School

  1. Thanks for the link to my Abramoff post. Yes, Abramoff is amazing in so many ways. But I feel so reassured knowing that Rabbi Daniel Landes has bestowed a Scholar of Talmudic Studies title upon Reb Abramoff. That makes everything all right, doesn’t it?

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