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Corruption Chronicles

Ney Posed In Photo With Tribe He Didn’t Remember

It seems that Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) took in too much fresh air during a golf outing to Scotland (August 2002), resulting in a fog of forgetfulness when he was questioned during an investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Ney reportedly told Senate investigators that he had no memory of meeting with tribal members on August 14, 2002, yet the pictures he posed for with Tigua Tribe Lt. Governor Carlos Hisa and Raul Gutierrez, former member of the Tigua governing council, might jog his memory.

The El Paso tribe contributed $32,000 to Ney in political donations with the understanding Ney would add legislative language to a bill that would aid in reopening the closed casino owned by the Tigua tribe. The measure lacked support from the Senate and never became a law.

A roulette wheel and the number twenty-six might have been a better choice for the Tigua Tribe to place their $32,000 dollars on. Recently released e-mails by the Senate committee state that, “Abramoff and Ney knew in July 2002 that the Tigua’s provision was dead in the Senate, but didn’t tell the Tigua until that October,” reports The Plain Dealer.

The tribe was dealt another bad hand when they were asked to pay $50,000 to fund Abramoff, Ralph Reed (former Christian Coalition leader), two Abramoff lobbyists, David Safavian (former White House official), and Bob Ney’s golf expedition. When Tigua protested to this outlandish demand, two other Abramoff tribal clients picked up the $100,000 tab.

Ney’s spokesman Brian Walsh said that Ney’s memory slip of the August 14, 2002 meeting was due to the name reference of the tribal group. Walsh said that the tribe referred to themselves as “Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo” when they donated $32,000, but when investigators questioned Ney they asked about his deals with the “Tigua.”

As Paul Kiel says at TPMmuckraker, “You lie to Senate investigators, it’s a felony — regardless of whether you’re under oath or not.” With this memory lapse, Ney has shown that he deserves even more scrutiny from investigators.


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