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THE NATION : National Briefing / WASHINGTON, D.C.

Ex-associate of Abramoff charged

September 09, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A former congressional aide who later worked with now-imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff was arrested and accused of conspiring to corrupt government officials -- including his former boss, Rep. John T. Doolittle (R-Roseville).

Kevin Ring, 37, pleaded not guilty to a 10-count federal indictment that accuses him of conspiring with Abramoff to win assistance from officials by giving them things of value and helping them skirt requirements to report the gifts.

The indictment accuses Ring of obstructing justice by attempting to thwart a grand jury and congressional investigation, of lying about getting an alleged $135,000 kickback, and of engaging in a scheme to deprive citizens of the "honest services" of elected officials.

The most serious charges, involving wire fraud, carry a possible prison sentence of up to 20 years.

Doolittle, who is retiring, has not been charged but remains under investigation. He maintains his innocence.

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