Monday, May 08, 2006

Ex-Barnes & Thornburg Attorney Enters Guilty Plea For Corrupt Influence

Neil Volz, a former lobbyist and attorney for the Indianapolis law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, entered a guilty plea today on one count of conspiracy to commit corrupt influence of a public official--in this case, Volz's former boss, U.S. Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH). Volz' plea almost ensures an indictment against Ney. The plea agreement stems from the ongoing investigation of former D.C. powerhouse lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, who last year admitted to various corrupt influence charges and income tax evasion associated with his lobbying work on behalf of several Native American indian tribes.

According to the charging information, Volz accepted while working as a congressional aide, and provided while working as a lobbyist "a stream of things of value with intent to influence and reward official acts and reward a member of Congress." This included golfing trips to Scotland and Lake George, New York, a trip to the Super Bowl in Tampa, a trip to the Northern Marianas Islands, as well as numerous other sporting events and concerts and meals and drinks at restaurants own by Abramoff.

In exchange for all the favors, Volz helped convince Rep. Ney to insert a provision in the Vote America Act which lifted the ban on gaming for a certain indian tribe in Texas. You can view a copy of the charging information by clicking here. None of the charges specifically allege wrongdoing while Volz worked at Barnes & Thornburg.

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