James F. Hirni is a lobbyist who was convicted of bribing U.S. Senate staff aides in exchange for favorable amendments to legislation. A former aide to U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), he joined the lobbying firm Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, and then became a member of "Team Abramoff" at Greenberg Traurig. He was a lobbyist for Wal-Mart from 2004–08, joining Wal-Mart full time in 2007 as its executive director of Republican outreach from lobbying firm Cassidy & Associates.
Court documents filed November 21, 2008, charged Hirni with one count of "conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud" for giving Blackann and a Fraser Verrusio, a staffer to Alaska Rep. Don Young an all-expenses paid trip to the World Series in exchange for favorable amendments to the Federal Highway Bill that benefited Hirni and Boulanger's client, United Rentals.
On December 12, 2008, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud. The guilty conduct occurred just a few weeks before Hirni left Sonnenschein to work with Abramoff at Greenberg Traurig.
The equipment rental conspiracy alleged in the scheme also resulted in guilty pleas from another Abramoff associate — Todd Boulanger — and a Senate aide, Trevor Blackann, who at the time worked for Missouri Republican Senator Kit Bond.
On March 6, 2009, Verrusio was indicted for receiving that trip in return for inserting the legislative amendments. Hirni also worked as a lobbyist at Rhoads Group, the National Federation of Independent Business and Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal, and as a legislative assistant to Sen. Bill Frist and Sen. Jeff Sessions.
- Susan Crabtree (November 24, 2008). "Wal-Mart fires GOP lobbyist over Abramoff charges". The Hill.
- Zachary Roth (November 24, 2008). "Abramoff Lobbyists Wanted Measure Attached To Young's Transportation Bill". TPM Muckraker.
- Del Quentin Wilber (December 12, 2008). "D.C. Man With Ties to Abramoff Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy". The Washington Post.
- Mauer, Richard (2009-03-06). "Former Young aide is indicted in lobbying scandal: GRATUITY: All-expense paid trip to World Series wasn't reported.". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- "Revolving Door: James F. Hirni". Open Secrets.
- Becker, Amanda (2011-01-06). "Former Abramoff-Linked Lobbyist Helps Santorum in South Carolina". Roll Call. Retrieved 2011-01-09.