Ohio Rep. Ney Resigns; Links to Abramoff Led to Conviction

Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, who pleaded guilty last month in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation resigned his seat in Congress on Friday.

The Ohio Republican, who had been pressed to quit by fellow lawmakers, sent a letter of resignation to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, according to Ney's chief of staff, David Popp.

"I can confirm the letter has been delivered to the speaker," Popp said in an electronic mail message to The Associated Press. The speaker's office would not confirm whether it had received the letter.

Ney pleaded guilty Oct. 13 to conspiracy and making false statements, acknowledging taking trips, tickets, meals and campaign donations from disgraced lobbyist Abramoff in return for official actions on behalf of Abramoff clients.

House Republicans had threatened to expel Ney if he didn't quit by the time lawmakers returned to Washington after Tuesday's elections. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Ney's resignation four days before the elections was late.

"The Republican leadership has allowed Bob Ney to receive his paycheck and benefits for seven weeks after his admission of guilt to criminal conspiracy charges — it is an embarrassment to this institution and an insult to the American taxpayer," Pelosi said in a statement.

Ney's letter, printed under his House letterhead, said, "Having completed all outstanding work in my congressional office, I now hereby resign from the United States House of Representatives effective close of business on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006."