Monday, May 08, 2006

Ney Statement on Volz Plea Agreement

Via email:
Congressman Ney's spokesman Brian Walsh has made the following statement regarding today's guilty plea of former aide Neil Volz:
"It is neither uncommon nor inappropriate for Members of Congress to stay in touch with former staffers, especially when they are friends as Neil and the Congressman were, and if Neil crossed an ethical line, he did so without Congressman Ney's knowledge. After reviewing today's plea agreement against Neil Volz which is thin at best, the Congressman is more confident than ever that he will be vindicated in this matter. Even with the coerced cooperation of the primary alleged conspirators, the Department of Justice has now has appeared in federal court four times and has been unable to even allege that Congressman Ney was bribed. On all four separate occasions, federal prosecutors have declined to make that allegation. That is because there was no bribery, there was no quid pro quo and there was no wrongdoing committed by Congressman Ney.

"Even though, as I'm sure it was with Neil, the financial pressure that comes with defending yourself against the full resources of the federal government is tremendous, the Congressman will not under any circumstances plead guilty to a crime that he did not commit. Congressman Ney has said from day one that he has done absolutely nothing illegal, improper or unethical and while the real facts of these matters await to reveal themselves, the Congressman has every intention of continuing his work representing the people of Ohio's 18th District and running a vigorous campaign for re-election."

Congressman Ney has made the following statement: "I have always considered Neil Volz my friend and while I am very saddened to see what has happened today, I also understand that Neil has been under tremendous pressure from the government. For a young man like Neil, it is virtually impossible to have the financial resources to adequately defend yourself against the federal government, and the thoughts and prayers of Liz and I go out to Neil and his family today."
Relevant Background Points:

  • With regard to the invitation to the Super Bowl in paragraph 14 of today's plea agreement, federal prosecutors state that Tony Rudy invited Congressman Ney to travel to Florida for the Super Bowl, yet it is also correctly noted that in fact the Congressman declined that invitation;

  • With regard to the house wireless enhancement project -- as has been reported on a multiple occasions, the Congressman, as Chairman of the House Administration Committee, had the sole authority to award the license agreement for the house wireless enhancement project, however, the Congressman chose not to do so and instead, allowed the wireless companies themselves to decide. As previously-released documents make clear, of the six wireless companies, three chose Foxcom and three chose no preference;

  • With regard to the proposed amendment to the Help America Vote Act -- any no point did Congressman Ney ever insert any amendment related to Indian gaming in any version of the Help America Vote Act, including even the House-passed version for which he was the primary co-author;

  • With regard to the trip to Lake George in August 2003, the Congressman vigorously disputes the allegation that that trip was anything other than a trip with personal friends for which everyone paid their share, and he has eyewitness accounts to prove that claim.
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