Neil G. Volz

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Neil G. Volz, former congressional aide to Representative Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and a business associate of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff [1], "pleaded guilty" May 8, 2006, in a plea hearing with U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle [2], to "one count of conspiracy, including wire fraud and violating House rules, charges stemming from his work on Capitol Hill and the lobbying practice he joined after leaving Ney's office," the Associated Press's Mark Sherman reported May 8, 2006.

Volz "quit his job" on January 6, 2006, at Barnes & Thornburg LLP, three days after Abramoff pleaded guilty to "bribery and tax evasion charges," The Journal Gazette reported January 22, 2006. [3][4]

Volz was Representative Bob Ney's chief of staff "when Jack 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." [5][6]

Volz was "one of more than a dozen lobbyists who were members of "Team Abramoff", the tight-knit group who worked under" Jack Abramoff "when he was at the lobbying helm of the Washington office of Greenberg Traurig LLP and, before that, Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds LLP." [7]


Bribery Charges Pending

Ney and his former chief of staff Neil Volz have already been told by prosecutors "that they are preparing a possible bribery case against them, according to two sources knowledgeable about the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity," Susan Schmidt and James V. Grimaldi reported in the November 26, 2005, Washington Post.

"Ney is the congressman whose name has surfaced most prominently in the Abramoff investigation. His spokesman and attorney have said for weeks that Ney has not been told he is a target of the inquiry, even while acknowledging that his office has received a grand jury subpoena and that his activities were mentioned in [Michael] Scanlon's plea agreement."

Sources said that "during the third week of October," prosecutors told Ney and Volz "that they were preparing a bribery case based in part on activities that occurred in October 2000. Abramoff and another business partner, Adam Kidan, were also told that they are targets in that case, the sources said.

"The five-year statute of limitations for filing charges based on those events expired last month; the prosecutors sought and received a waiver of the deadline from all four men while they continue their investigation, the sources said. Prosecutors are often able to obtain such waivers by giving the targets a choice of being indicted right away or granting more time to see if information might surface that exonerates them," Schmidt and Grimaldi wrote.

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.

Profiles

Volz is "actively involved in conservative politics and has held several ranking staff positions with state and federal legislators. His practice areas include, but are not limited to technology, homeland security, financial services, procurement, appropriations, outsourcing and competitive sourcing, transportation, energy, trade and foreign relations.

"Prior to working as a lobbyist, Mr. Volz most recently served as staff director for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on House Administration, where he oversaw the committee responsible for administering the internal operations of the House of Representatives as well as federal election law. This included everything from passage of election reform legislation after the 2000 presidential election, to helping coordinate Capitol Hill security after the September 11th attacks in Washington, D.C.

"In addition, Mr. Volz served as chief of staff for U.S. Representative Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), for whom he oversaw the Congressional account and the office’s legislative and policy initiatives. Before being named chief of staff, he served as Rep. Ney’s press secretary."

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

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