Safe Place for Hard Cold Cash
The latest casualty in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal is also the youngest: Will Heaton, 28, who served as chief of staff to convicted ex-Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), pleaded guilty conspiracy charges Monday.
One of the revelations made in the plea agreement documents is that Ney, who's now serving 30 months in prison on corruption charges, kept a safe in his office filled with "thousands of dollars" won from gambling chips Ney accepted from a foreign businessman.
What, the freezer wasn't good enough?
Maybe this is the difference between Democrats and Republicans who are caught up in corruption scandals. When agents raided the Washington home of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), who is under a federal bribery investigation, they found about $90,000 worth of cash hidden in his freezer. But Ney, according to the Justice Department, kept his graft in a safe, which young Heaton would open on command for the boss.
It's not a common practice for members of Congress to use safes, Hill aides say. But in Ney's case, he kind of needed a place to put his money. After all, his office was the place where he hung his hat. He slept there, and showered in the House gym.
Associates of Ney say they feel bad for Heaton, a devout Catholic from North Carolina, educated at the College of William and Mary, who they view as a victim of Ney's corruption rather than an equal partner in crime. For them, red flags were waving when Ney skipped over several much more senior aides in his office to elevate Heaton -- who was 23-years-old -- from the job of driver to chief of staff.
Here are court documents related to the plea agreement:
Posted by: AM | February 27, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Robert J. Rich | February 28, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mark | February 28, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Julie Harvey | February 28, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Anonymous | February 28, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Ed Stonelake | February 28, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.