Report: Ernest Istook used skyboxes controlled by convicted lobbyist

Thursday, February 2nd 2006, 9:27 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A report says Congressman Ernest Istook's congressional campaign hosted fund-raisers in 2003 in sports stadium skyboxes controlled by now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The copyright report in The Oklahoman says the campaign failed to pay for use of the skyboxes until late last year when two payments for a total of 51-hundred-26-dollars was made. The payment went to Sports Suites LLC -- a company created by Abramoff.

Istook spokesman Matt Lambert says the campaign just recently discovered payment was not made for the suites which were used for an "American Idol" concert and a Washington Redskins football game. Lambert says Abramoff didn't arrange any events for Istook, but others in the Sports Suites group rented out suites to different people for different occasions.

Abramoff recently pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy, fraud and tax evasion charges involving schemes to bribe public officials and defraud some of his Indian tribal clients of millions of dollars.

Istook is not running for re-election to Congress, but is running instead for governor.