Michael Scanlon Pleads Guilty
I bet this isn’t sitting well with the “The Hammer.”
Mr. Scanlon, 35, was accused of conspiring to defraud Indian tribes out of millions of dollars as part of a lobbying and corruption scheme that involved wining and dining of some lawmakers, treating them to lavish trips and contributing to their campaigns.
Representative Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican, who heads the House Appropriations Committee, was alluded to in the indictment (although not by name) as a main beneficiary of largess, in return for helping Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon with their clients.
Lawyers involved in the case have confirmed that Mr. Ney is the “Representative #1” cited in the indictment. The congressman – who has not been charged – has asserted that he was duped by the two and is cooperating with prosecutors, a spokesman for Mr. Ney says.
Mr. Scanlon’s lawyer, Plato Cacheris, was asked whether any other members of Congress had anything to fear. “I have no comment on that,” he replied.
Until recently, Mr. Scanlon occupied a powerful – and lucrative – position at the intersection of political power and lobbying influence. For several years, he worked as a top aide to Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the Republican majority leader. He left Mr. DeLay’s office in 2000 to become an associate of Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist.
Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Scanlon earned more than $80 million representing a few wealthy Indian tribes on gambling issues. Those transactions have been under investigation by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee as well as federal prosecutors.
In an e-mail message made public by the committee, Mr. Scanlon seemed to lust for wealth, and seemed to see the Indian tribes as easy targets. “I want all their money!!!” he wrote of one tribe in 2002. Referring to the money available from another tribe, he exclaimed, “Weeez gonna be rich!!!”
And weeez is gonna see some headz roll!!!