WASHINGTON – Former Rep. Bob Ney was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a congressional bribery scandal. The Justice Department had asked for a term of 27 months in prison.
Ney, the only congressman charged in the case to date, pleaded guilty to trading official favors for golf trips, tickets, meals and campaign donations from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Ney admitted that he traded official actions for expensive trips, sports tickets, meals and campaign donations from the former lobbyist, who is already in prison.
Prior to the sentencing, nine letters from citizens, most from Ohio, were sent to U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle and filed at court, asking the judge to impose the maximum sentence. One letter said, “I beg you to give him at least 27 months and if possible put an extra 0 on his sentence behind the 7.” Another letter says, “If the punishment fit the crime, he’d be shot at sunrise.”
A former member of his congressional staff said that as the federal probe intensified in 2004 and 2005, Ney began to drink more heavily. Matthew Parker writes that Ney “could rarely make it through the day without drinking and would often begin drinking as early as 7:30 a.m.”