Monday, April 16, 2007

Barnes & Thornburg Loses Second Attorney To Abramoff Scandal

A second attorney with Barnes & Thornburg's Washington, D.C. has left the firm under a cloud due to his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The Indiana Daily Insight, quoting, writes about Kevin Ring's sudden departure from the firm:

Amid reports the Justice Department is investigating ties between Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) and jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a key link between the two, Kevin A. Ring, has abruptly resigned from his law firm. Ring tendered his resignation from Indianapolis-based law firm Barnes & Thornburg, effective Friday, confirmed the managing partner of the firm’s Washington office, Richard H. Streeter. Ring had no immediate plans to join another firm, a source close to the issue said. Ring, 36, as an aide to Doolittle for five years and later worked for Abramoff at Florida-based law firm Greenberg Traurig .... Ring is the second former Abramoff associate to leave Barnes & Thornburg. Neil Volz resigned in January, 2006, shortly after he was named as “Staffer B” in Abramoff’s plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Volz later pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors in securing a guilty plea from his former boss, then-Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who is now serving time in a federal prison ....He landed at Barnes & Thornburg in January 2005 along with two other former Abramoff associates. Many of his clients followed him to the new firm, demonstrating a remarkable loyalty even as he surfaced in several congressional investigations of Abramoff...In 2005, he was subpoenaed to appear before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee as part of its Abramoff probe. Asked to discuss his work with Abramoff on behalf of several Indian gaming tribes, Ring asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.

Read more about Neil Volz, another Barnes & Thornburg attorney claimed by the Abramoff scandal, here and here.


Anonymous said...

Why can't this kind of scrutiny ever hit the (scriverner's) folks at Ice Miller?

They thrive on the gray area.

Wilson46201 said...

from The Hill:

FBI searches Republican lawmaker’s home
By Mike Soraghan and Susan Crabtree
April 18, 2007

The FBI searched the Virginia home of Rep. John Doolittle (R-Calif.) last Friday in its investigation into the ties of the congressman and his wife, Julie, to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to law enforcement and other Congressional and K Street sources.

Doolittle came within three percentage points of losing his election in November after facing months of scrutiny over his relationship with Abramoff, who is in jail for an array of fraud, bribery and money-laundering charges.

Doolittle has been under fire for paying his wife’s company, Sierra Dominion, a 15 percent commission on all contributions that the company raised for Doolittle’s campaign committee and leadership PAC. Her only other clients were Abramoff’s former firm, Greenberg Traurig; Abramoff’s former restaurant Signatures; and the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council, which Ed Buckham, a former chief of staff to ex-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), created.

The Justice Department previously subpoenaed Julie Doolittle’s files.

Doolittle also received contributions from indicted defense contractor Brent Wilkes and his associates, and investigators are probing whether those contributions are linked to any official action Doolittle took to help Wilkes’s company obtain millions of dollars in government earmarks.

Wilkes recently was indicted in connection with his investigation stemming from former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham’s (R-Calif.) bribery conviction and jailing.