Kevin A. Ring

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Kevin A. Ring, a lobbyist and Of Counsel at the Barnes & Thornburg LLP law firm in Washington, DC, abruptly "tendered his resignation from [the] Indianapolis-based law firm" effective Friday, April 20, 2007. [1][2]

Ring is the second former Jack Abramoff "associate to leave Barnes & Thornburg. Neil Volz resigned in January, 2006, shortly after he was named as 'Staffer B' in Abramoff’s plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Volz later pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors in securing a guilty plea from his former boss, then-Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who is now serving time in a federal prison in Morgantown, W.V. Abramoff is incarcerated in a federal prison in Cumberland, Md." [3]


"Team Abramoff"

On June 28, 2005, Jon Kamman reported in The Arizona Republic that Ring no longer represented the Hopi Tribe following "harsh questioning" by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) on Ring's "dealings with now-disgraced lobbyist" Jack Abramoff. Ring resigned and Barnes & Thornburg, the "lobbying firm he works for also pulled out, the Hopis announced. ... Neither the tribe nor the Barnes & Thornburg firm in Washington would comment on whether the split was entirely voluntary."

One of "more than a dozen lobbyists who were members of "Team Abramoff", the tight-knit group who worked under Abramoff when he was at the lobbying helm of the Washington office of Greenberg Traurig and, before that, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP," Ring was asked to resign from Greenberg Traurig. [4][5]

Profiles

"In 2002 and 2003, he was named a 'Top Rainmaker' by The Hill newspaper in its annual rankings of Washington’s premier lobbyists. In addition to providing legislative counsel, Mr. Ring advises clients on participation in media, grassroots, and political campaigns.

"Before entering private practice, he worked for several years on Capitol Hill as a staffer in both the House of Representatives and Senate. In 1993, Mr. Ring joined the staff of U.S. Representative John T. Doolittle, a member of the House Appropriations Committee and an elected member of the House Republican leadership team. After his promotion to legislative director in 1995, he was charged with implementing the congressman’s legislative agenda and serving as a liaison to the House leadership.

"In 1998, Mr. Ring was named by then-U.S. Senator John Ashcroft to serve as a counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights Subcommittee that Sen. Ashcroft chaired. Among other duties, he advised Sen. Ashcroft on federal judicial nominations. He served there a year before returning to the House to become executive director of the Conservative Action Team (later renamed the House Republican Study Committee), a caucus comprised of 70 House Republicans.

"Mr. Ring’s book, Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court’s Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice, was published by Regnery Publishing in November 2004. Mr. Ring earned his B.A. in political science from Syracuse University and graduated with honors from the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the Maryland Bar."

Source: Ring's Barnes & Thornburg LLP online Profile.

Fees Scandal

"Four former Greenberg Traurig lobbyists besides disgraced former colleague Jack Abramoff took improper side payments in violation of company policy and have been referred to the Justice Department, a top law firm executive has disclosed," Julie Kay reported November 17, 2005, for Law.com. "The four other lobbyists now being questioned are" Kevin Ring, Jon W. van Horne, Michael D. Smith and Stephanie Leger Short.

Abramoff-Reed Indian Gambling Scandal

"Lobbyist Kevin A. Ring sat silently as Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) displayed e-mails and canceled checks to support allegations that Ring and lobbyist Jack Abramoff inflated fees and concocted invoices to defraud their client, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians," James V. Grimaldi wrote in the June 26, 2005, Washington Post.

"Testifying before the committee Wednesday morning, Ring asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, but he also offered an apology. 'I'm sorry the clients for whom I worked have had to endure the enormous emotional and financial burden,' he said."

What Ring omitted to tell the committee was that he was "still working for the Choctaws as their paid Washington lobbyist. Indeed, he was actively lobbying members of Congress to pass a Choctaw-backed amendment that came up for a vote in the House on Friday afternoon," June 24, 2005, Grimaldi wrote. "Ring is one of the few Abramoff alumni who have been able to hold onto the same tribal clients who now say they were victimized by Abramoff's fraudulent billing practices."

"The committee also released documents showing cash flowing in and out of a limited liability corporation called KAR LLC that was based at Ring's Maryland home. The corporation received a check for $25,000 on Dec. 15, 2003, from Grassroots Interactive LLC, a company apparently controlled by Abramoff.

"In mid-February 2004, a few weeks before the Abramoff-tribal money scandal broke, Abramoff and Ring agreed to a wide-ranging interview with The Washington Post. Shortly afterward, Ring returned the $25,000 to Grassroots Interactive.

In spring 2002, "Ring's corporation also received $125,000" from Michael Scanlon's public affairs firm, Capital Campaign Strategies. The notation on one check cited a 'referral expense'," Grimaldi wrote.

"When Ring left Greenberg Traurig for Barnes & Thornburg LLP a few months ago," Grimaldi wrote in June 2005, "he brought many former Abramoff clients, including the International Interactive Alliance, the Gibraltar-based group that advocates for gambling on the Internet."

Lobbyist Registration

Fundraising with Abramoff

On June 3, 2003, Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert’s political action committee held "a $1,500-a-plate lunch at [Abramoff's restaurant] Signatures at which Hastert [was] the featured speaker. Abramoff and two other members of his staff may have been in attendance, as Hastert’s PAC records contributions of $6,250 from the lobbyist and six other members of his firm"--Todd A. Boulanger, Duane R. Gibson, Kevin A. Ring, Shawn Vasell, Neil G. Volz and Padgett Wilson--"shortly thereafter–including a $500 contribution from Boulanger," John Byrne reported in The Raw Story, March 29, 2005.

External links