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Top Bush official accused of corruption

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The Bush administration's top procurement official was charged with lying and obstructing a criminal investigation of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

David Safavian, 38, resigned abruptly Friday as head of procurement policy at the Office of Management and Budget -- the day the FBI brought the complaint. He was arrested Monday at his Alexandria, Va., home, The Washington Post reported.

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Safavian is accused of making repeated false statements about a 2002 golf trip to Scotland he took with and paid for by Abramoff, once among the most powerful lobbyists in Washington, The New York Times reported.

Safavian also is accused of trying to conceal his efforts to help Abramoff get control of two federally managed properties near Washington for Indian and Jewish organizations.

Abramoff was indicted in Miami last month on unrelated charges of wire fraud and conspiracy in an ongoing federal investigation.

At the time of the alleged incidents, Safavian was chief of staff of the General Services Administration. When he resigned Friday, he was developing contracting policies for the multibillion-dollar Hurricane Katrina relief effort.

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