After months of stories headlined "Ney denies wrongdoing..."

Friday, September 15, 2006 at 05:02 PM

Well, maybe just a little wrongdoing:

Ney Admits Guilt in Abramoff Case, Faces Prison Term (Update6)

By Michael Forsythe and Robert Schmidt

Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Representative Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican, is facing more than two years in prison after becoming the first lawmaker to admit criminal conduct in connection with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ney, 52, agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and making false statements, admitting in court papers he accepted gifts and travel from Abramoff and thousands of dollars in gambling chips from another business executive in return for legislative favors. The congressman also said he has a problem with alcohol dependence and is seeking professional help.

Ney had already announced that he wouldn't seek re-election to the seat he has held for almost 12 years as prosecutors got Abramoff and three former colleagues to plead guilty to improperly influencing him. After months of insisting he did nothing wrong, Ney said in a statement released in Washington today that he has made ``serious mistakes.''

``The dominos start falling and Ney just gets painted into a corner,'' said Joshua Berman, a former Justice Department prosecutor and partner at Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal LLP in Washington. ``This is going to happen a lot over the next two years. They are going to continue to make these cases until there are no more to be made.''

Ney agreed to plead guilty to two charges, each of which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years. Prosecutors said they will recommend a term of 27 months for Ney, who is due in court to formally plead guilty on Oct. 13. The agreement is subject to approval by U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle.....