Ohio congressman to plead guilty in Abramoff corruption probe

[JURIST] US Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) [official website] is expected to plead guilty to at least one criminal charge stemming from his involvement with lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive], Republican officials announced Thursday. Ney is expected to admit to filing a false House disclosure report, where he claimed to visit members of the Scottish Parliament in 2002 when in fact he was on a golfing trip in Scotland with Abramoff. Ney is also believed to have accepted a 2003 trip to Lake George, New York, tickets to concerts and sporting events, and food and drink at Abramoff's restaurant. Ney will be the first member of Congress to plead guilty for his involvement with Abramoff, but other members of Congress are also under investigation [JURIST report].

In May, Ney's former chief of staff and former Abramoff business partner, Neil Volz [Wikipedia profile], pleaded guilty to conspiring to corrupt the congressman and other aides with trips and other perks. In his plea, Volz admitted 16 actions Ney had taken on behalf of Abramoff clients between January 2000 and April 2004, including awarding a wireless contract for House office buildings and supporting the reopening of an Indian casino. Ney, who will not run for re-election this year may face jail time. AP has more. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has local coverage.

10:44 AM ET - CBS News is reporting that Ney has agreed to plead guilty to making false statements, conspiracy to commit fraud and violating post-employment restrictions for former congressional aides.

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