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Nauer pleads delay “for medical health reasons”

Solofa asks for sentencing delay also
fili@samoanews.com

Former Department of Education (DOE) school bus division supervisor Gustav Nauer's sentencing has been continued yet again, this time at the defendant's request “for medical health reasons”. He was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday at the federal court in Honolulu after being the federal prosecutors’ star witness during the January 2012 trial of former DOE official Paul Solofa.

Court documents state that the government and defense agreed to the new sentencing date of Apr. 30 with no explanation provided about the types of health reasons Nauer is citing. US district Court Judge David Alan Ezra will preside over sentencing.

Nauer pled guilty in January 2011 to one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, in connection with his role in the DOE school bus spare parts scheme with a local vendor. Nauer admitted that he and other government officials were paid approximately $300,000 in bribes from January 2003 until October 2006.

According to a government motion filed recently, Nauer’s restitution is close to $160,000 but the jail term for the defendant is not clear because the government and defense sentencing statements are sealed per order of the court.

Also, former DOE official Paul Solofa has asked to delay his Apr. 27 sentencing date at the federal court in Washington DC because the defense needs “additional  time to prepare objections” to the pre-sentence report.

US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton has ordered all objections to the pre-sentence report be submitted by Apr. 19 and the final pre-sentence report be submitted on Apr. 30.

The charges against 50-year old Solofa stem from the time he was DOE business office manager in connection with the bus spare parts scheme. He was convicted by a federal jury in Washington DC for witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

Electronic court records released this week state that Solofa's sentencing is now reset for June 8 before Judge Walton. Solofa’s attorney, Washington DC based Assistant Federal Public Defender Michelle Peterson, stated that the defense needs “additional time to prepare objections” to the pre-sentence report.

Peterson explained that Solofa is currently housed in the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu and the federal Bureau of Prison regulations do not permit an inmate to possess the pre-sentence report for security reasons.

 “Counsel is scheduled to review the pre-sentence report with Mr. Solofa on April 17,” according to the Mar. 30 defense motion which has been granted by Walton, who ordered that all objections to the pre-sentence report be submitted by Apr. 19 and the final pre-sentence report be submitted on Apr. 30.



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