Campaign 2010

Sep 20, 2005

Another One Bites The Dust: Ney Crony Safavian Arrested

DCCC Press

Sep 20, 2005

Another One Bites The Dust: Ney Crony Safavian Arrested

In What is Just the Latest in a Growing String of Bob Ney Crony Indictments, Today a Bush Budget Official was Arrested for Lying and Obstructing a Federal Investigation

(Washington, D.C.) - This afternoon the Department of Justice announced that yet another key associate of Ohio Congressman Bob Ney has been arrested. David Safavian, who also has ties to ethically challenged Congressman Tom DeLay and indicted and arrested super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is only the most recent inductee to what is rapidly becoming a large group of indicted cronies. Safavian, who until last week was a high ranking Bush budget official, was arrested for making false statements and obstructing a federal investigation.

"With two of his golf partners arrested in one month's time, Congressman Bob Ney must be worried about the integrity of his four-some," said John Lapp, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Every arrest and indictment is a reminder to the American people that this special interest congress is more concerned with protecting their cronies than fighting for middle class families."

Safavian Travelled with Ney and Abramoff to Scotland. Abramoff's Foundation Paid for Chartered Jet. Jack Abramoff's Capitol Athletic Foundation paid for the chartered jet that flew at least six people -- including Abramoff and Ney, former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed, and then-General Services Administration chief of staff David Safavian to St. Andrews, Scotland and London in August 2002. According to House rules, members of Congress are not allowed to receive trips that are paid for by lobbyists. [Washington Post, 9/28/04]

Safavian and Abramoff Have Both Been Arrested. David Safavian was arrested on September 19, 2005, on charges of making false statements and obstructing a federal investigation. At the time of the trip Safavian was chief of staff of the General Service Administration (GSA) before becoming the head of the Office of Procurement Policy in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Safavian resigned his OMB post on September 16, 2005. Abramoff was indicted last month. He was subsequently arrested and released on bail. [Government Executive, 9/19/05]

Safavian Misled GSA Officials and Aided Washington Lobbyist. Safavian was charged making false statements to a GSA ethics officer and the GSA-OIG, along with obstruction of a GSA-OIG investigation. According to Government Executive, the Justice Department announced that Safavian had "allegedly aided a Washington, D.C. lobbyist" and that he had joined the lobbyist on a Scotland golf trip. Safavian allegedly concealed the fact that the lobbyist had business before GSA prior to the August 2002 golf trip, and that he was aiding the lobbyist in his attempts to do business with GSA. [Government Executive, 9/19/05, Justice Department Press Release, 9/19/05]

Ney Said National Center for Public Policy Research Paid for Scotland Trip. Congressman Bob Ney traveled to the United Kingdom, including Scotland and London, from August 3-9, 2002 at the expense of the National Center for Public Policy Research. He listed the expenditures as $1,500 for travel, $1,200 for lodging, and $500 for meals. [Member Travel Disclosure Form, 9/3/04]

National Center for Public Policy Research Denies Paying for Ney Trip. The National Center for Public Policy Research stated that they "did not sponsor, nor did we pay" for Ney's travels. In addition, a consultant to a Texas tribe represented by Abramoff testified that the lobbyist had told him he needed $100,000 to pay for Ney and his contingent's golf trip to Scotland. Abramoff paid $72,000 from a personal business account to charter a jet in advance of the Ney trip, records released by a Senate committee showed. [Los Angeles Times, 3/9/05]