Safavian gets 18 months

A judge sentenced the former Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator to 18 months in prison for lying about dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

A judge has sentenced David Safavian, former administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, to 18 months in prison for lying about dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Safavian, who was convicted in June on four felony counts of lying to investigators and obstruction of justice, had resigned from OFPP in September 2005, just before his arrest.

His entanglement with Abramoff occurred before he came to OFPP, when he was a chief of staff at the General Services Administration. Safavian helped Abramoff in the lobbyist's effort to acquire GSA-controlled property in and near Washington, D.C., according to investigators.

Safavian accompanied Abramoff and other guests on a 2002 golf trip to Scotland. Safavian has said he paid his own way rather than taking the offer of a free trip. However, in seeking clearance from a GSA ethics officer to take the trip, Safavian said that the lobbyist had no business with GSA at the time.

Safavian was confirmed as OFPP administrator in November 2004, following months of waiting. In his confirmation hearing in April 2004, he told lawmakers his priorities as OFPP head would be recruiting a skilled acquisition workforce and improving the competitive sourcing process.

He resigned and was arrested in September 2005. Associate administrator Robert Burton resumed the role of acting administrator until Paul Denett was sworn in as Safavian's successor in August 2006.