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Former Ohio congressman gets 30-month sentence in Abramoff scandal

[JURIST] Former US Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) [Wikipedia profile] was sentenced Friday to 30 months imprisonment for receiving gifts and campaign contributions in exchange for political favors. Ney pleaded guilty [plea agreement, PDF; JURIST report] last October to conspiracy and making false statements in relation to his dealings with lobbyist Jack Abramoff [JURIST news archive]. In response to the political corruption scandal, the Republican congressman resigned from the US House of Representatives in November [Reuters report].

Ney's prison sentence will include two years of probation and a $6,000 fine. If he completes a prison alcohol rehabilitation program to address his recently-acknowledged alcohol abuse problem, his sentence could be reduced by up to a year. During sentencing proceedings, Ney's defense team provided evidence that he was a "functioning alcoholic" whose decision-making ability was clouded by his dependency on alcohol. US District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle [official profile] rejected the claim, asserting that it didn't fully explain his corrupt behavior or excuse violating laws he was "sworn to enforce and uphold." AP has more.

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