Bush Nominated Abramoff Associate On Day Of Visit

May 11, 2006

From Raw Story:

Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff went to the White House on the same day President Bush nominated one of Abramoff's former colleagues to be Assistant Secretary of Labor.

President Bush announced his intent to nominate Patrick Pizzella, who worked with Abramoff at his former lawfirm Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, the same day Abramoff made a visit to the White House, according to Secret Service records released today.

On Mar. 6, 2001, Abramoff entered at 4:23 p.m. and left at 4:49 p.m., according to Cox News Service, which obtained the records from the government watchdog Judicial Watch today (Article).

A White House press release shows that Bush nominated Patrick Pizzella the very same day.

"The President intends to nominate Patrick Pizzella to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Administration and Management," the release says. "He is presently the Acting Chief of Staff at the Office of Personnel Management and previously was a government affairs representative with the law firm of Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds in Washington, D.C. From 1990 to 1995 he served as the Director of the Office of Administration at the Federal Housing Finance Board and he served in a variety of positions at the U.S. Department of Education, the Small Business Administration and the General Services Administration during the Reagan and Bush administrations. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia."

Pizzella is the only Abramoff associate to remain in a senior Bush Administration post. David Safavian, who also worked with Abramoff, was arrested last year after allegations that he was obstructing the government's investigation of the Abramoff case. Safavian had been Bush's top procurement officer, overseeing $300 billion annually in federal spending.