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School Lunch Director Convicted in Bribery Probe

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Lunch just won’t be the same.

The director of a public school lunch program in the American Samoa was convicted on Thursday in Washington of obstructing a federal grand jury and law enforcement investigations into a bribery plot, reports the Pacific News Center. Paul Solofa was convicted after a four-day trial, after which a federal jury found him guilty on a count of witness tampering and a count of obstruction of justice.

Early in 2008, feds began an investigation into tips that cash bribes and kickbacks were being paid by vendors of school bus parts and services to officials with the American Samoa Government, according to evidence shown at trial.

The evidence showed that Solofa met with a vendor on April 3, 2009. When the vendor told Solofa the FBI wanted to interview him, Solofa, in a recorded meeting, said to the vendor “they cannot do anything with cash. Nothing. They cannot do anything with cash. They cannot track down you on cash. Because even if you say you gave me cash I’ll tell them ‘no.’ They cannot take your word on cash. Because that’s hearsay.”

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