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Ex-Congressman Ney, Jailed in Lobby Case, Set for Early Release

By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Robert W. Ney -- the former congressman now officially known as federal prisoner No. 28882-016 -- will complete his sentence Friday, less than two years after pleading guilty to corruption charges stemming from the investigation of now-imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with Congress.

Ney, 54, an eight-term Republican from eastern Ohio, entered a federal prison in Morgantown, W.Va., in March 2007 and transferred to a halfway house in Cincinnati in February, according to federal prison officials. Sentenced to 30 months, Ney will have served 17 1/2 months.

Michael Real, community corrections manager for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, said Ney is being released more than a year early because of good behavior and his participation in a drug and alcohol program while in prison. Ney, in his guilty plea, told a federal judge that he was an alcoholic; he has been subjected to mandatory testing since entering prison.

The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper, reported in March that Ney has been working as a researcher for a liberal talk radio station in Ohio.

Ney is the only lawmaker to have been charged in the continuing Abramoff investigation. He once flew with Abramoff to the famed Old Course at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland, and has admitted helping the lobbyist's clients in exchange for campaign contributions, expensive meals and skybox sports tickets. Ney also admitted taking thousands of dollars in gambling chips from an international businessman who sought his help with the State Department.

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