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Solofa must self surrender next month in Honolulu, cannot travel outside Oahu island

fili@samoanews.com

The federal court in Washington D.C. has ordered Paul Solofa to be released on his own recognizance but he must self surrender in Honolulu for detainment while awaiting sentencing in April.

Solofa, the local Department of Education’s former business office manager, was convicted last week by a federal court jury on one count each of witness tempering and obstruction of justice in connection with the DOE school bus spare parts scheme.

He is now scheduled for sentencing Apr. 27 but Samoa News understands that the U.S. Justice Department had moved to detain Solofa to await sentencing. The federal government has not commented on why it moved to detain the defendant and Solofa’s defense attorney has yet to reply to Samoa News questions e-mailed since the guilty verdict was handed down.

After he was convicted, Solofa was ordered to remain in Washington D.C. where he appeared Monday for a status hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton ordered Solofa be released on his own recognizance pending a self surrender on Feb. 12 at the federal detention center in Honolulu.

According to the court, the defendant shall reside in Honolulu until his surrender date and shall not travel outside of Oahu island upon arrival in Honolulu. Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 12, the defendant shall call the federal Pretrial Services office in Washington each day, Monday thru Friday.

Additionally, Solofa is to make arrangements through the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Hawai’i to self surrender at the Honolulu federal prison on Feb. 12 where he will remain, pending sentencing in this case at the federal court in Washington D.C.

Solofa faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the witness tampering charge and 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the obstruction of justice charge.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has yet to comment on whether there is an ongoing investigation into the school bus spare parts scheme and if Oscar Mayer, general manager of the local firm Pacific Products, will be charged in this case.

Pacific Products was the vendor that provided the spare parts to DOE and Mayer is alleged in court documents as the one involved with Solofa and Gustav Nauer in this scheme. Nauer, the former school bus supervisor, has already pled guilty at the federal court in Honolulu for his role in the scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced Mar. 5.

Both Nauer and Mayer testified for the government in Solofa’s trial.



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