Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ney Pleads Guilty

The Abramoff scandal claims another scalp (although this is no surprise to readers here):

Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) agreed yesterday to plead guilty to corruption charges after admitting to performing a variety of official acts for lobbyists in exchange for campaign contributions, expensive meals, luxury travel, sports tickets and thousands of dollars in gambling chips. He is the first elected official to face prison time in the ongoing influence-peddling investigation of former GOP lobbying powerhouse Jack Abramoff.

After fiercely proclaiming his innocence for more than a year, Ney signed a two-count plea agreement Wednesday that the Justice Department filed in federal court yesterday. The charges of conspiracy and making a false statement could carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years, but prosecutors plan to seek a term of 27 months. He faces up to $500,000 in fines. ...

Court papers made no mention of any agreement on Ney's part to provide evidence against anyone else in the ongoing probe, unlike in other plea agreements that prosecutors have reached with Abramoff and his former associates. Ney is the eighth person to be indicted or to admit wrongdoing in connection with the Abramoff investigation, under which lobbyists, government officials and other lawmakers continue to be scrutinized.

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