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Ney hemorrhaging staff over Abramoff scandal

Published: Thursday June 29, 2006

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Top aides for Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) are leaving in droves as the Representative's legal problems from the Abramoff affair continue to mount, Roll Call is reporting.

Excerpts from Roll Call's story follow:


Will Heaton, Ney’s chief of staff, and Brian Walsh, the communications director, are planning to leave Ney’s staff soon, according to sources close to the office. Walsh will accept a job as communications director for Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), while Heaton’s destination is unknown. Heaton recently was married and was unavailable for comment Thursday. Chris Otillio, Ney’s legislative director, left the office last Friday, the sources said.

In addition, Matt Parker, district director in Ney’s office in St. Clairsville, Ohio, was subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury conducting the Abramoff probe. Additional subpoenas of Ney’s staffers are expected soon, said a source familiar with situation. ... Ney has denied any wrongdoing in his dealings with Abramoff, but the Ohio Republican was implicated in several recent plea agreements obtained by the Justice Department, including that of Neil Volz, his longtime chief of staff and close personal friend. Volz pleaded guilty on May 8 to conspiracy to commit fraud and violating the one-year ban on lobbying by former top Congressional aides. Volz already has testified for the government during the recent trial of former Bush administration aide David Safavian, who was convicted two weeks ago of making false statements and obstructing an investigation into his own relationship with Abramoff.

Ney also was implicated in Abramoff’s own plea agreement with Justice, as well as the plea agreements of Tony Rudy and Mike Scanlon, both former aides to ex-Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas).


Read the full, registration-restricted story here.