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8/07/2006 

Rep. Bob Ney Will Not Seek Reelection

Washington Post, August 7, 2006:
Rep. Robert W. Ney, the six-term Republican congressman from central Ohio implicated in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal, announced this morning that that he will not seek re-election.

"After much consideration and thought I have decided today to no longer seek re-election in Ohio's 18th Congressional District," Ney said in a statement posted on his campaign Website. "I am extremely proud of my 25 years serving the people of Ohio. We've accomplished many things to make this state better and I will always be grateful for the trust my constituents put in me.

"Ultimately," he said, "this decision came down to my family. I must think of them first, and I can no longer put them through this ordeal."

Ney has been identified as the accused but so far unindicted "Congressman A" in Abramoff's plea agreement. He has denied wrongdoing.

Ney has been under investigation by federal authorities in Florida and the District for actions that helped Abramoff and two partners buy a Fort Lauderdale-based casino cruise line. The deal that Ney promoted in the Congressional Record hinged on the Abramoff group's creation of a counterfeit $23 million wire transfer.

A Ney senior aide, who left Congress to join Jack Abramoff's lobbying team, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to corruptly influence Ney's official actions by showering him with gifts and trips.

Neil G. Volz, 35, a Ney confidant who spent seven years on the congressman's staff, joined Abramoff and three of his other former associates in agreeing to cooperate with the government and testify against Ney in the unfolding public corruption scandal on Capitol Hill.

Ney, one of half a dozen lawmakers under scrutiny because of ties to Abramoff, has been forced to give up his chairmanship of the House Administration Committee. He handily won the GOP primary in Ohio but Democrats were targeting him for defeat in November.