Congressman Ney Pleads Guilty to Accepting Lavish Gifts, Cites Alcohol Dependency

Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) has agreed to plead guilty to accepting lavish gifts from lobbyists, including Jack Abramoff, in exchange for taking official action at Abramoff's request.

Ney has admitted to accepting luxurious trips from Abramoff, including a golf trip to Scotland, valued at over $160,000, and a gambling trip to New Orleans, according to the plea agreement.

In exchange for these trips and other gifts, which include meals, concert tickets and tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, Ney agreed to take numerous official actions on behalf of Abramoff. Those actions included supporting or opposing legislation as Abramoff's request, inserting two statements into the Congressional record and supporting a license for one of Abramoff's other clients involving a multi-million dollar contract, according to the plea agreement.

THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS

Congressman Ney issued a statement saying that the plea will enable him to accept responsibility for what he has done.

"I have gone through a great deal of soul searching recently, and I have come to recognize that dependence on alcohol has been a problem for me," Ney said. "I am not making any excuses, and I take full responsibility for my actions."

Ney is the most powerful of Abramoff's co-conspirators to plead guilty following Abramoff's own guilty plea in January. Ney's former chief of staff, Neil Volz, pleaded guilty to bribery and corruption charges earlier this year.

In the agreement, Ney agrees to plead guilty to a criminal information charge, including conspiracy to commit multiple offenses, including honest services fraud, making false statements and violations of his former chief of staff's one-year lobbying ban and with making false statements to the U.S. House of Representatives.

He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.

Read the Justice Department's Press Release on Rep. Ney's Plea Deal.

Read Rep. Ney's Plea Agreement.

Read the Factual Basis behind Rep. Ney's Plea - See page 4 for the facts on Ney's trip to Scotland.

Read the Statement by Rep. Ney's Lawyers.

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