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UPDATE: Solofa sentenced for tampering, obstruction

Former chief financial officer of the local Department of Education was sentenced today at federal court in Washington D.C. to 35 months imprisonment.

Paul Solofa, 50, was convicted in January this year by a federal jury in Washington on one count each of witness tempering and obstruction of justice. The charges against Solofa stem from his efforts to obstruct a federal grand jury and law enforcement investigation into a bribery scheme at the local DOE school bus division.

According to evidence presented at trial, around early 2008, federal authorities began conducting an investigation into allegations of cash bribes and kickbacks paid by vendors to officials of the American Samoa Government in connection with the government’s purchase of school bus parts and services.

More details in tomorrow’s Samoa News, print edition and online.