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PAUL SOLOFA’S FED CASE MENTIONED IN CONGRESSIONAL REPORT

The federal government’s cases against former Department of Education official Paul Solofa and former ASDOE school bus supervisor Gustav Nauer are among the incidents involving criminal investigations by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General included in the USDOE-OIG semiannual report to the U.S. Congress. 

The report, which covers the period of Apr. 1 - Sept. 30, 2012, was publicly released Wednesday by the federal agency. The report does not identify Solofa and Nauer by name. 

It does, however, state that the former chief financial officer and the former boss of the bus division were sentenced this year to prison for their roles in a bribery and kickback scheme. 

Conspiring with the owner of a company that sold school bus parts, the officials arranged to order “phantom” bus parts on behalf of the Department of Education that were never received, and purchased parts at inflated prices in exchange for kickbacks from the company, the report states.

From January 2003 through October 2006, the two received envelopes of cash totaling about $300,000, it says.

Solofa was sentenced to serve 35 months in prison and he has since appealed his conviction and sentence. Nauer - who pled guilty and testified for the feds during Solofa’s trial - was sentenced to 25 months in prison and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution.

PORT SECURITY BEING UPGRADED

Local Department of Homeland Security says work began Monday this week to upgrade the port security equipment and facilities at the Department of Port Administration.

The upgrade includes improvements to surveillance cameras and public announcement capabilities, as well as to upgrade communication equipment and properly equip port staff and security personnel in support of the department’s day-to-day operations and emergency response capabilities.

In a news release, ASDHS said the most visible part of the project is the demolition of the security gate at the port’s main entrance, and building a new security point.

The old security building at the main entrance was made of wood and the structure was rapidly deteriorating.  

The new structure is being constructed of concrete block, and will be fortified to last much longer. The new main gate will also be controlled from the security building.

During the construction period, the main gate will be closed and all traffic in and out of the main dock will go through the west gate next to the fuel dock.

Besides the improvements to port facilities in Fagatogo, the upgrade project will include improvements to radio equipment at the Pago Pago International Airport.

Funding for the port improvements is being provided through the federal Port Security Grant Program which is administered by ASDHS.

Construction is being done by Nana’s Incorporated, which was the sole bidder on the project. The contract calls for the work to be completed by March 3, 2012.

[Source: ASDHS news release]

FORMER LBJ BOARD CHAIR RECEIVES GLOBAL DESIGNATION

Former local resident, Charles Warren, who is also former board chairman of the LBJ Medical Center has been awarded the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) designation from the American Institute of CPAs and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

The CGMA designation recognizes professionals who have deep understanding of finance and have expanded their business skills through experience as management accountants to help drive better business decisions.

Warren, who is also a former chief financial officer of GHC Reid & Co., said he is honored to receive the CGMA designation, and delighted that the accounting profession recognizes the value that management accountants bring to organizations.

“This designation represents a commitment to advanced education, ethics and professional development that are critical to career success,” said Warren in a statement from Saipan, where he is CFO at the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, which is owned by the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands government.



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