Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Culture of Corruption: Another Abramoff Associate to Plead Guilty

Legal Times

Roger Stillwell, the desk officer for the Mariana Islands at the U.S. Department of the Interior who dealt closely with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, is expected to plead guilty to a misdemeanor count of false certification, his attorney confirmed Wednesday.

Department of Justice officials charged Stillwell, 65, with filing a financial-disclosure report for fiscal year 2003 that “falsely certified that he did not receive reportable gifts from a prohibited source,” according to a document filed June 27 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The charges against Stillwell are the first connected to the Abramoff scandal to touch the Interior Department, and they mark an expansion of the government’s ongoing investigation into public corruption involving the convicted lobbyist. So far five people — Abramoff and former associates Michael Scanlon, Tony Rudy, Neil Volz, and Adam Kidan — have pleaded guilty. Earlier this month, David Safavian, the former top procurement officer at the Office of Management and Budget, was convicted on four charges of making false statements and obstructing justice stemming from his dealings with Abramoff.

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