Skip to comments.(Kevin) Ring sentenced to 20 months in lobbying scandal
Posted on 10/26/2011 12:06:47 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON (AP) A former lobbyist who was a rising star under Jack Abramoff's tutelage was sentenced Wednesday to nearly two years in prison for giving public officials meals and event tickets.
Kevin Ring argued up until his emotional sentencing hearing that he was operating in a corrupt Washington environment controlled by people with money and that he did not break the law.
"I found a ridiculous system full of gray areas and I manipulated it," a sobbing Ring told the judge in asking her not to lock him up. It was the first time he spoke about the charges in court after three years of prosecution, including two trials in which he decided not to testify.
U.S. District Ellen Segal Huvelle said Ring's conduct was not nearly as egregious as ringleader Abramoff or some of the others involved in a scandal that resulted in stricter lobbying rules in Washington. But the judge gave Ring a sentence of 20 months, one of the stiffest terms among the 21 defendants in the investigation. Most others involved cooperated with prosecutors and got plea deals that avoided prison.
Huvelle said she had to order prison "to respect the jury's verdict and promote respect for the law." Ring has 14 days to appeal, and the judge said he could remain free pending the outcome.
Ring, a 41-year-old father of two from Kensington, Md., was convicted after two trials of five felony counts including conspiracy, payment of a gratuity and honest services wire fraud. The first jury couldn't agree on his guilt ..
Prosecutor Nathaniel Edmonds asked the judge for four years imprisonment, saying a sentence without jail would invite future offenders. He said Ring's showering of gifts on public officials "is not business as usual in Washington that is a crime."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Huvelle is a 1999 Clinton Judge appointee.
I am willing to bet that nothing happened to the public officials bennefitting from gifts in this case.