U.S. official found guilty of lying to get benefits
The former GSA manager faces 15 years in federal prison
A former top local official of the U.S. General Services Administration has been convicted of making false statements on a health form to obtain benefits for his girlfriend.
A federal jury on Wednesday convicted Peter J. Gaddy, former deputy property manager of the agency that manages the Prince Kuhio Federal Building, with three counts of making false claims by saying he was married at the time the form was filled out in October 2000. He did not marry until September 2001.
Gaddy faces five years on each count when sentenced Feb. 13 before U.S. District Judge Alan Kay.
According to prosecutors, the government relied on Gaddy's representations on the form and paid increased premiums totaling just over $2,000 over 10 months for Gaddy's then-girlfriend.
The defense maintained that Gaddy had indicated on the form that he wanted the health benefits effective October 2001 but that a government clerk processed the form too early and the insurance coverage occurred earlier than expected.
Defense attorney William Harrison said Gaddy filed the form early because it had previously taken the government seven months to remove his former wife from his health benefit plan, during which he paid increased premiums and was never reimbursed.
Gaddy figured the health benefits would start in time for when his girlfriend's own benefits ran out and after they got married, Harrison said.
"He's obviously upset at the verdict, because he believed he followed the rules and regulations in attempting to have his future wife placed on his benefit plan when she became his spouse," Harrison said.
The defense claimed that prosecutors brought the criminal indictment in retaliation for Gaddy blowing the whistle on his former supervisor and to undermine a lawsuit he filed against the GSA.
Gaddy had reported to officials that his supervisor had engaged in contract improprieties, was sending pornographic e-mail, and had assaulted him. The supervisor was later put on 30 days suspension and did not face criminal charges.
Gaddy was terminated in March 2003 after allegations arose about representations he made on his health benefits form and the government's shipment of household goods and a sports utility vehicle to Honolulu on Gaddy's behalf.
He later filed a wrongful termination suit against the agency, alleging he had been discriminated and retaliated against for reporting misconduct by his supervisor.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Shipley discounted the retaliation theory, saying the investigation against Gaddy's supervisor had begun in late 2000 and was winding down in June 2002 when Gaddy first made anonymous complaints. An investigator later spoke to Gaddy about the allegations, but he had nothing to add to what the investigator already knew, and the file was closed July 23, 2002.
No charges were filed against the supervisor, but he was ordered suspended for 30 days.
The jury acquitted Gaddy of four other counts stemming from false claims he allegedly submitted that resulted in the government paying to ship his girlfriend's household goods and an Infiniti SUV she was making lease payments on to Hawaii when she followed him here.
He also was acquitted of a charge of converting the $2,000 in premiums from the federal government to the benefit of his girlfriend for health insurance coverage.