Rep. Bob Ney agrees to guilty plea in congressional corruption probe

Friday, September 15th 2006, 11:10 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Rep. Bob Ney agreed Friday to plead guilty to two criminal charges in the congressional corruption probe spawned by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Papers in the case said the Ohio Republican had accepted trips worth more than $170,000.

Justice Department officials said prosecutors would recommend the 52-year-old congressman serve 27 months in prison. A formal admission of guilt would make Ney the first lawmaker to confess to crimes in a Republican-heavy scandal that erupted at the dawn of the election year.

After months of stoutly denying wrongdoing, Ney signed a formal plea agreement that outlined charges of conspiracy and making false statements by not disclosing gifts he received from Abramoff on financial disclosure forms required by Congress.

His lawyer said Ney had begun treatment for alcohol dependency, and would likely make a formal admission of guilty in a court appearance on Oct. 13.