In Prison, Abramoff In Good Company

November 16, 2006 11:40 a.m.

Jack Abramoff appears to have survived his first night in prison. And it’s a good thing! He’s likely to have some great bunkmates before long.

First, Abramoff may soon get to enjoy the company of good friend David Safavian, the White House appointee who was recently sentenced for three felony convictions stemming from his involvement with the disgraced superlobbyist. Safavian’s lawyers are said to have requested their client be held at the same Cumberland facility. Their second choice is reported to be a similar prison in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Even if Safavian doesn’t show up, Abramoff can look forward to the company of Larry Franklin, the Pentagon employee convicted of spying for Israel. Franklin has been sentenced to 12 years at Cumberland, although he’s serving as a government witness in other cases to get that shortened. According to Forward correspondent Nathan Guttman, who’s been following his case from the beginning, Franklin is likely to arrive at “FCI Cumberland,” as the prison is known, in the late spring of 2007, after his cooperation is complete.

In the meantime, Jack — onetime owner of Signatures Restaurant and Stacks Deli — can make small talk with fellow inmate Gholam Kowkabi, also a onetime Washington restauranteur. Kowkabi, former owner of D.C. eateries Sole Restaurant, Restaurant Piccolo, Alamo Grill and Tuscana West, is doing an 18-month stretch for failing to pay nearly $2 million in city taxes.

Abramoff might also get to critique the writings of William Hurwitz, a pain physician doing a 25-year sentence for dozens of “narcotic-prescribing related charges,” as Modern Healthcare described them. (Defenders say Hurwitz “aggressively” overprescribed painkillers to patients without proper supervision.) Since being locked up, Hurwitz took to writing poetry. It’s not clear if he’s presently at Cumberland, however; earlier reports had him held in Arlington, and the Bureau of Prisons prisoner locator shows him as “in transit.”

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