A TPM Reader takes a stab at the $9,000 <$NoAd$> check mystery …
Regarding the Jack Abramoff/Guam Superior Court embroglio, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. There probably is some illicit “structuring” going on, but it’s likely by the Guam court officials, not Abramoff. This is all surmise, of course, but anyone who has ever had “signature authority” in a corporation usually also has had dollar limits on that authority (that is, a limit on how much they can authorize without sending it to a superior/supervisor).
Sure enough, when you look at the Guam procurement code, section 5213 states, “Small Purchases. Any procurement not exceeding the amount established by regulation may be made in accordance with small purchase procedures promulgated by the Policy Office, provided, however, that procurement requirements shall not be artificially divided so as to constitute a small purchase under this Section.”
Now, your posts mentioned that the Guam Supreme Court is trying to do something that, evidently, the Superior Court judges or administrators disagree with. The Superior Court people may not want to come right out and ask for $300,000 to lobby against the Supreme Court people (Guam’s a small place, maybe it’s bad politics, who knows?), and so they use administrative procedures to mask what they’re doing. How much do you want to bet that the “amount established by regulation” is $10,000? Assuming that’s the case, if you wanted to hide a procurement contract in plain sight, you’d make sure that the payments were each below the “amount established by regulation” in order to avoid having to make a procurement request up the chain of command.
Note, by the way, that the procurement code prohibits exactly that conduct. Thus, if Abramoff or his intermediary in California was aware of that, they could be accessories to some kind of violation in Guam, but without doing further research, it would be impossible to know that for sure.
More on this to come.