Former congressman sentenced to 30 months in bribery scandal

A former Republican congressman was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a congressional bribery scandal.

Rep. Bob Ney, the first congressman ensnared in the case, pleaded guilty to trading official favors for golf trips, tickets, meals and campaign donations from disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

When he is released, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said, Ney will serve another two years on probation and pay a $6,000 (Ђ4,630) fine. She also ordered him into a prison alcohol rehabilitation program for treatment of a drinking problem he has acknowledged in recent months, reports AP.

The sentence was harsher than recommended by prosecutors or Ney's lawyers, Huvelle said, because he had violated the trust place on him as a public official. "Both your constituents and the public trusted you to represent them honesty," Huvelle said.

As head a committee responsible for administration of the House of Representatives, he was instrumental in getting the chamber's cafeterias to change menu listings for french fries to freedom fries to protest France's opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

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