Neil Volz was Chief of Staff to Representative Bob Ney (R-Ohio), staff director of the House Administration Committee, and later part of lobbyist Jack Abramoff's Team Abramoff, when he left Capitol Hill in February 2002 to work for Abramoff at Greenberg Traurig LLP. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, including wire fraud and violating House rules, charges stemming from his work both for Ney and for Greenberg Traurig. In 2007 he was sentenced to two years probation, 100 hours community service, and a fine of $2,000. Volz cooperated with prosecutors and provided evidence against Ney and William Heaton and testified against David Safavian.
Involvement with Jack Abramoff
Abramoff's plea agreement details his practice of hiring former congressional staffers, including Volz (who is identified as "Staffer B"). Abramoff used these persons' influence to lobby their former Congressional employers, in violation of a one-year federal ban on such lobbying. Three days after Abramoff's plea, Volz resigned from another lobbying firm, Barnes & Thornburg.
While Volz was Ney's chief of staff, "Abramoff had Ney insert a provision into an unrelated bill that would re-open the Tigua Indian Tribe's casino. Volz was Abramoff's chief point of contact during this effort, and soon thereafter Volz left Ney's office and went to work [early in 2002] for Jack Abramoff, where he immediately began to work as a lobbyist in violation of the one-year ban on lobbying after leaving the House of Representatives."
Testimony against Congressman Bob Ney
Bloomberg News described Volz's plea agreement:
In court documents filed as part of Volz's plea agreement, prosecutors said that he and others at Greenberg Traurig offered trips, tickets to sporting events and numerous meals at Abramoff's restaurants to Ney. In 2003, Volz paid for part of a two-night trip to the Sagamore Resort in Lake George, New York, for Ney and members of his staff, prosecutors said.
Ney, for his part, agreed to help Abramoff clients with acts such as inserting language into legislation that would lift a gaming ban hurting one of the tribes, prosecutors said. The court documents also describe conversations in which Volz told Ney what Abramoff wanted him to say in meetings with the tribal client.
Volz received abusive phone messages from Ney because he suspected Volz was cooperating with the prosecution. Volz turned those messages over, which would have been used against Ney if he had gone to trial.
As of May 2012 Volz was working as a night janitor at a Florida restaurant.
|Pled guilty||Sentenced||Sentence||Started serving||Current location|
|May 8, 2006||September 12, 2007||24 months probation, 100 hours community service, $2,000||N/A|
- Yost, Pete (May 8, 2006). "Former Aide to Rep. Ney Pleads Guilty". Associated Press.
- Sherman, Mark (September 12, 2007). "Former Hill Staffer Draws Probation". Associated Press.
- The Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/abramoff_info_010306.pdf
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- "Lobbyist case threatens Congress". BBC News. January 4, 2006.
- Schmidt, Susan; Birnbaum, Jeffrey H. (December 26, 2004). "Tribal Money Linked to GOP Fundraising". The Washington Post.
- "Ney's Former Aide Volz Pleads Guilty in Abramoff Case (Update5)". Bloomberg. May 8, 2006.
- "Jack Abramoff: The lobbyist's playbook". CBS News.
- "Former Ney chief of staff worked with Abramoff," Indianz.com, November 19, 2004.
- Susan Schmidt and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, "Tribal Money Linked to GOP Fundraising. Skybox Events Were Not Always Reported to FEC," Washington Post, December 26, 2004.
- John Byrne, "New ties link House GOP leadership with lobbyist Abramoff," The Raw Story (Beware of This page catch), March 29, 2005.
- James V. Grimaldi, "Lobbyists, Clients Undeterred by Scandal. Alumni of Abramoff's 'Team' Still Collecting Fees, Trying to Influence Government," Washington Post, June 26, 2005.
- "Choctaws hire three ex-Abramoff lobbyists," Indianz.com, June 27, 2005.
- Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi, "Lawmakers Under Scrutiny in Probe of Lobbyist. Ney and DeLay Among the Members of Congress Said to Be a Focus of Abramoff Investigation," Washington Post, November 26, 2005.
- "Lobbyist linked to Abramoff quits Indianapolis firm," Associated Press (IndyStar.com), January 23, 2006.
- "Former Aide to Rep. Ney Pleads Guilty", Associated Press, May 8, 2006.
- Copy of the Federal Indictment
- Copy of Volz's "Factual Proffer"
- Volz Points Finger at Ney by Paul Kiel, TPMMuckraker, May 8, 2006
- Neil G. Volz at SourceWatch