Man Who Oversaw Courthouse Enters Guilty Plea - 8 News NOW

Man Who Oversaw Courthouse Enters Guilty Plea

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LAS VEGAS -- A former assistant property manager for the General Services Administration in Las Vegas who oversaw the federal courthouse pleaded guilty Friday to witness tampering and making false statements to federal agents, according to André Birotte, Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.

Steven Underhill, 58, of Las Vegas, entered his guilty pleas before U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon, and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 12.

According to the plea agreement, GSA's Office of the Inspector General initiated an investigation in 2010 into alleged improprieties involving the janitorial contract for the Lloyd George Federal Courthouse. 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, he 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, he allegedly lied to them by denying that he had a relationship with the employee and that he was living with her.

After Underhill's interviews with law enforcement investigators, he 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.

Underhill 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.

This case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for GSA and Metro Police, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Newman and Lawrence Middleton.

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