Friday, September 15, 2006

Ohio Representative Expected to Plead Guilty in Corruption Probe

Ohio Representative Bob Ney reportedly is going to plead guilty to a federal criminal charge related to the corruption investigation spawned by the activities of former high-powered lobbyist Jack Abramoff.  An AP story (here) reports that Republican party officials said that Ney will enter a guilty plea for his role in accepting benefits from Abramoff, many of which have already been described in the guilty pleas of former Congressional aides and Abramoff's lobbying team.  Ney has long maintained his innocence, although he recently dropped out of the race to be reelected, a strong signal that he was looking to resolve the investigation.  If Ney does plead guilty, he will be the first elected official charged in the Abramoff investigation, and the second snared on corruption charges this year, following former California Representative Randy (Duke) Cunningham, who is serving an eight-year prison term.  An interesting question will be whether Ney will cooperate in the government's continuing investigation of Capitol Hill corruption, and if he could provide information about other Congressmen. (ph)

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