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Former DeLay aide pleads guilty in corruption case

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Michael Scanlon, the former partner of the influential lobbyist Jack Abramoff, pled guilty to conspiracy to bribe congressmen and other public staffers. He agreed to pay back US$19 million to a defrauded Indian tribe and entered into a plea agreement. Scanlon is an ex-aide and press secretary to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who was indicted in October on conspiracy and money laundering charges relating to his dealings with Abramoff.

The members of Congress involved in the corruption charges have not yet been named by the prosecutors, but Representative Bob Ney of Ohio has acknowledged that he is "Representative No. 1" named in the court papers. The prosecution alleges that Representative No. 1 accepted gifts, including a golf trip to a luxury resort in Scotland, and regular meals in an upscale D.C. restaurant "in exchange for a series of official acts and influence."

Ney is said to be cooperating with the investigation. According to Ney's spokesperson, Brian Walsh, Congressman Ney was a merely victim of Scanlon's illegal activities.

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