Former U’una’i acting executive director now in jail


The former acting executive director of the now defunct U’una’i legal service corporation, in American Samoa started serving his jail term earlier than expected after being arrested more than a month after he was sentenced by the federal court in St. Louis, Missouri.

David Wagner was sentenced on Apr. 2 this year to serve 5 months in jail for his role in the theft of nearly $160,000 in federal grant funds to U’una’i. He remained out on pre sentence bail awaiting the federal Bureau of Prison to designate a detention center to serve the jail term.

However, federal court records show that the St. Louis federal court issued an arrest warrant around May 14 against Wagner following a petition by the federal Pretrial Service Office, for violation of provisions of his release as supervised by the Pretrial Service Office.

The petition states that the Maryland Heights Police Department in Missouri was summoned to the defendant’s residence due to threats of suicide.

Wagner’s wife advised the police officer that besides threatening to kill himself, he threatened to blow up his house with his wife and kids inside the residence. He was taken into custody and transported to DePaul Health Center for a 96 hour psychiatric evaluation.

“Additionally, the defendant’s wife alleged our subject uses synthetic narcotics and stimulants, which exacerbate his unpredictable behavior,” the petition states. “The defendant incurred additional violations for failing to maintain employment, failure to attend mental health counseling sessions, outstanding warrants for the arrest of the defendant by... police and failure to report to the US Pretrial Services Office as directed.”

A hearing on the petition was held May 15 and thereafter Wagner was placed in federal custody. US Bureau of Prison electronic records show that Wagner, 49, is housed at a federal penitentiary in southern Illinois and he is expected to be  released in mid October this year.


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