WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, who faces sentencing next week in the Jack Abramoff bribery investigation, asked a federal judge Wednesday to note that alcohol addiction contributed to his misconduct.
Ney, who resigned in November shortly after pleading guilty to conspiracy and making false statements, faces about two years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 19. In court documents, his lawyers asked that the six-term lawmaker be recommended for a prison drug abuse program.
Prosecutors are pushing for about 29 months in prison for Ney, saying he was at the center of a conspiracy that sold congressional services for cash and gifts. Ney says his role in the Abramoff scandal was not so extensive and is asking for less time.
Ney's attorneys didn't ask for a specific sentence in court documents Wednesday. If Ney completes the prison treatment program, it could reduce his sentence by as much as a year.
Ney is the first congressman ensnared in the Abramoff case. Abramoff, a once influential lobbyist, is the star witness in an FBI corruption investigation and is serving prison time for a fraudulent Florida casino deal.
When Ney agreed to plead guilty, he apologized to his constituents, said he had been struggling with alcoholism and checked into an alcohol-abuse rehabilitation program.