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American Samoa education official indicted

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PAGO PAGO, American Samoa  — The director of the school lunch program in American Samoa has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday that Paul Solofa was arrested Wednesday on charges of witness tampering and obstruction of justice.

The charges stem from a federal investigation into allegations of bribes and kickbacks paid by vendors to government officials in connection with the U.S. territory’s purchase of school bus parts and services.

The 49-year-old Solofa is expected to make his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi in Honolulu.

He has been with American Samoa’s Department of Education for 20 years.

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