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Ex-GSA manager pleads guilty to witness tampering

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Updated: 6/14/2013 1:27 pm
LAS VEGAS – A former assistant property manager for the General Services Administration in Las Vegas who oversaw the federal courthouse pleaded guilty today to making false statements to federal agents and witness tampering, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Steven M. Underhill, 58, of Las Vegas faces up to five years in prison on the false statements charge and up to 20 years in prison on the witness tampering charge, as well as fines of up to $250,000 on each charge. He is free on a personal recognizance bond while awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. Sept. 12.

According to the plea agreement, in about 2010, GSA’s Office of the Inspector General initiated an investigation into alleged improprieties involving the janitorial contract for the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse in Las Vegas.

The allegations included claims that Underhill, who was GSA’s Assistant Property Manager at the courthouse, had an undisclosed and improper relationship with one of the janitorial company’s employees. The allegations included claims that as a result of the janitorial employee’s decision to end her relationship with Underhill, Underhill began giving the company unsatisfactory ratings, which impacted its bid to renew the contract.

In April and May 2011, when investigators interviewed Underhill about the allegations, Underhill lied to them by denying that he had a relationship with the employee and that he was living with her, when he had in fact been in a relationship with her for a number of years, and had lived with her and her mother.

After Underhill’s interviews with the law enforcement investigators, Underhill told the employee to deny everything about their relationship because he would be fired. Underhill continued to contact the employee over the next 14 months by telephone and text, and threatened her with retaliation and public embarrassment if she cooperated with authorities.

-- From news release
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