Former Delay Aide Pleads Guilty in Corruption Probe
As part of the deal to Rudy pleading guilty to one felony conspiracy count, prosecutors said they would not pursue other possible charges against him or his wife, reported the Associated Press.
Rudy stood with his head bowed as U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle recounted how, while working for DeLay, he accepted free trips, tickets, meals and golf games from former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who also has pleaded guilty in the corruption probe.
The judge told Rudy he could receive up to five years in prison but his sentence could be less depending on how much he cooperates with prosecutors.
Rudy resigned as DeLay’s deputy chief of staff in 2001 to become a lobbyist.
The plea agreement contains no allegations that DeLay did anything wrong, according to the AP.
Investigators are looking into whether Washington politicians, including DeLay and Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, gave Abramoff’s clients special favors in exchange for campaign contributions, Super Bowl tickets and other illegal gifts. Both congressmen have denied any wrongdoing.
In a separate case, Abramoff and codefendant New York businessman Adam Kidan were sentenced Wednesday to five years and 10 months in prison for fraud in the purchase of a Florida casino cruise line. They will be on probation for three years after their release.
Abramoff and Kidan also were ordered to pay a total $21.7 million in restitution.
Abramoff pleaded guilty in Miami federal court in January to conspiracy and wire fraud charges, acknowledging he faked documents to get a $60 million load to buy the cruise line, according to Reuters. Kidan pleaded guilty in December.
Meanwhile, in the Washington case, Abramoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy to corrupt public officials, mail fraud and tax evasion. For these charges, he faces 30 years in prison, although the Justice Department said it will recommend a reduced sentence depending on how much he cooperates.
Abramoff’s attorney said he has spent hundreds of hours with federal investigators and prosecutors, reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents as part of his cooperation, reported Bloomberg news.