viernes, 19 de enero de 2007

Ex-Congressman Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison

The New York Times:

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 — Former Congressman Bob Ney was sentenced to 30 months in prison today for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in illegal gifts in return for using his legislative influence to help his benefactors.

Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 27 months and Mr. Ney’s lawyers had asked for no more than two years.

Mr. Ney, a Republican from Ohio, pleaded guilty last year to two counts of conspiracy and making false statement in the scandals linked to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is in jail.

Prosecutors had asked for a sentence at the lower lend of the 27- to-33 month range recommended by federal sentencing guidelines because Mr. Ney had cooperated with investigators.

But Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, of the U.S. District Court in Washington, said Mr. Ney deserved additional time because of his “significant and serious abuse of the public trust.”

“You have a long way to make amends for what you have done,” she said. The sentence includes two years of probation after release from prison, 200 hours of community service and a $6,000 fine.

Mr. Ney, who did not run for reelection, blamed his problems on alcohol addiction and asked to be placed in a prison drug abuse program, which could have made him eligible for release after a year in prison.

Judge Huvelle noted the problem with alcohol, but said, “I don’t think that explains everything.” Nevertheless, she recommended that he be sent to a prison in Morgantown, W. Va., where there is a drug treatment program.

Mr. Ney, who appeared composed during the 20-minute sentencing procedure, issued a statement in which apologized to his family, friends and constituents. “I stand here today with deep regret and I stand here sorrowful.”

He said he was dealing with the “demands of an addiction that was always with me.”

The prosecutor, Mary Butler, said Mr. Ney “failed his constituents in Ohio, failed his colleagues in the House of Representatives.”

Mr. Ney’s seat was captured by a Democrat as that party won control of the House of Representatives at least partly by campaigning against Republican sale-of-influence scandals.

In his plea bargain last year, Mr. Ney admitted that he had essentially sold his office to Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying operation and others in return for a series of lavish gifts.

Those gifts included overseas trips, the use of skyboxes at Washington-area sports arenas, meals, concert tickets and thousands of dollars worth of gambling chips in London casinos.

No hay comentarios: