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FCW Insider: Breaking News: Court overturns Safavian conviction


The U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia today issued a ruling overturning the conviction of former OFPP Administrator David Safavian and ordered a new trial. He was convicted and in October 2006 he had been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

We are just reading the court's decision right now -- you can read it here [.pdf].

We'll get a story posted at FCW.com as soon as we work our way through it.

UPDATE: FCW new editor Michael Hardy has posted more details. The decision is somewhat confusing about what charges were dropped and which ones can be retried, but the reasoning behind the court's decision is fairly clear: Prosecutors overreached.

Of course, Safavian had been arrested on charges related to a 2002 golf trip that he took with former lobbyist Abramoff, when Safavian was chief of staff at the General Services Administration. The appeals court determined that the trial judge erred in excluding expert testimony that would have supported Safavian's argument that having business with GSA meant having or seeking contracts or having an ongoing business relationship with the agency, not making general inquiries. The court also found that Safavian's voluntary consultation with the GSA ethics officer did not obligate him to disclose "all relevant information" or face prosecution, as the government alleged.

Again, Hardy's story is here.

More to come.

Posted by Christopher J. Dorobek on Jun 17, 2008 at 12:17 PM


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