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Senior aide to Rep. Ney subpoenaed

Columbus Dispatch, June 30, 2006:
Three top aides to embattled Rep. Bob Ney are leaving his office, and a federal grand jury has subpoenaed another senior staff member in an investigation of the Heath Republican’s ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Matt Parker, who has served as district director for Ney’s office in Ohio as well as an adviser to the re-election campaign, was ordered to turn over documents to federal prosecutors and testify before a grand jury in Washington.

Parker’s subpoena was made public yesterday in an announcement on the House floor, as required when lawmakers or staff members receive subpoenas. Parker could not be reached for comment.

Also announced yesterday were the departures of Brian Walsh, a longtime Ney spokesman; Will Heaton, Ney’s chief of staff; and Chris Otillio, a senior legislative aide.

Heaton was with Ney on a lavish 2002 golf trip to Scotland arranged by Abramoff. That trip is part of what federal prosecutors are examining in an investigation of Ney’s ties to Abramoff.

The once-powerful lobbyist and three of his former associates, including former Ney chief of staff Neil Volz, have pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges and said that they bestowed gifts on Ney in return for legislative favors.