Sunday, January 15, 2006
Bloomberg: Ney Says He's Giving Up Committee Chair Amid Abramoff Probe
Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- House Administration Committee Chairman Bob Ney, left, an Ohio Republican, said tonight he will temporarily relinquish his chairmanship, a decision made amid allegations he received gifts and other benefits from Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
"I informed House Speaker Dennis Hastert of my decision to temporarily step down," Ney said in a prepared statement from his office this evening. "I want to assure my colleagues and my constituents that I have done absolutely nothing wrong and I am convinced that I will be vindicated completely."
Ney was identified in Abramoff's indictment as "Lawmaker A" who received gifts and other benefits from Abramoff and a business partner, as the government continues a wide-scale investigation into the lobbyist's dealings. Abramoff has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, mail fraud and tax evasion in a congressional corruption probe and promised to aid the government's case. Ney hasn't been charged with any crime.
Ney has faced growing pressure from within his party to step aside as Republican leaders in the House and Senate work to craft broad-based legislation to address the growing scandal involving Abramoff. The scandal threatens to ensnare former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and other lawmakers of both political parties. On Jan. 13, a spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert said the party leader was in "ongoing discussions" with Ney about his chairmanship.
Ney's committee has oversight of federal elections and day-to-day functions of the House of Representatives, which would place it in charge of considering the overhaul of lobbying rules.
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