A major influence-peddling investigation is drawing closer to a prominent Ohio congressman. Neil Volz, a lobbyist who served as chief of staff to Rep. Robert Ney, admitted this week that he acted to “corruptly influence” his former boss. Volz left Ney’s staff in 2002 to work for lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who has admitted that he defrauded clients and provided kickbacks to several members of Congress. While working for Abramoff, Volz said, he treated Ney to golf junkets in Scotland, tickets to the Fiesta Bowl, and resort vacations. In return, Volz said, Ney sponsored legislation favorable to Abramoff’s clients, including Indian tribes looking to expand gambling operations. Ney’s lawyer said Volz and others claiming that Ney was bribed are “flat making it up” to win favor with prosecutors.
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