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January 19, 2007

Former congressman Ney gets 30 months

As detailed press reports here and here, "Former Rep. Bob Ney was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a congressional bribery scandal."  The reports indicate that this sentence was three months higher than the term urged by prosecutors, which leads me to think that the sentence involved an upward variance.  Here's more details from this NBC article:

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said that Ney would serve his time at a federal prison in Morgantown, West Virginia.  When he is released, the judge said, Ney will serve another two years on probation and pay a $6,000 fine.  She also ordered him into a prison alcohol rehabilitation program for treatment of a drinking problem he has acknowledged in recent months.

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

January 19, 2007 at 10:51 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Jan 19, 2007 4:50:49 PM


I don't know why I bother noting the errors in legal reporting anymore, but unless things have changed since I was in federal criminal court last, I didn't think the judge decided where someone served his sentence. He can make a recommendation to the BOP, but they make the final call, no?

Posted by: txpublicdefender | Jan 19, 2007 12:55:39 PM


You are correct; the judge's recommendation is not binding on the BOP, but they will take it under advisement. Due to prison overcrowding, not all offenders can be placed in the most desirable facility, but when a spot opens up, the offender with a judge's recommendation tends to get the desired spot over one who does not have a similar recommendation.

Posted by: | Jan 19, 2007 1:40:55 PM

TXPD - My favorite error in legal reporting is when they say that a defendant "pleaded innocent." Really? I thought he WAS presumed innocent, and pleaded "not guilty."

Posted by: anon | Jan 19, 2007 2:14:09 PM

More importantly, if he gets into the RDAP program he is eligible to receive up to 12 months off his 30 month sentence----hence the 3 extra months is largely irrelevant. He will do 10 months in the program and a few extra before with 6 motnhs in a CCC. He will do less that 12 months in a prison.

Posted by: John B. Webster | Jan 19, 2007 2:40:58 PM

I don't know whether I would call the movement from 27 to 30 months an upward variance. Ney's plea agreement is availabale on Pacer, as is the factual basis for his plea. No loss or gain was attributed to Ney under 2B1.1 under the agreement, despite dollar amounts approaching (and likely surpassing) $200K. That's quite a trick. In addition, a guidline dispute between the parties left the ultimate guidelines determination to the court. It appears that dispute was resolved in favor of the government, fixing Ney's range at 27-33, rather than 24-30 as Ney's attorney's had hoped. 30 would not constitute an upward variance if I'm correct, just the middle of the advisory guidelines range.

Posted by: | Jan 19, 2007 5:58:22 PM

How does this square with the recent 6th Circuit Opinion that requires the judge to give defense counsel notice of his intent to go above the guidelines?

Posted by: BabbuLu | Jan 20, 2007 1:54:07 PM

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