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Ney, facing expulsion, resigns from House

WASHINGTON, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Embattled U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, who has already pleaded guilty in the congressional lobbying scandal, resigned from the House Friday.

His resignation came as House Republican leaders threatened to call a vote next month to expel him.

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Ney resigned in a four-sentence letter sent late Friday afternoon to Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., before House members could take a formal vote to expel him, Congressional Quarterly reported.

Ney did not apologize in the letter.

"I am proud of the many accomplishments that have helped improve the lives of the people of the 18th Congressional District during my tenure of public service," Ney said in his letter, CQ reported.

The Ohio Republican pleaded guilty Oct. 13 to making false statements and conspiracy to commit fraud, and is the first member of Congress to be convicted in the massive Jack Abramoff lobbying case, Roll Call said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a statement noting that Ney "is the fourth senior Republican to have resigned amid scandal in the 109th Congress."

Pelosi said the Republican leadership allowed Ney to remain on the payroll for seven weeks after he pleaded guilty. She called that "an embarrassment to this institution and an insult to the American taxpayer."

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Ney, former chairman of the House Administration Committee, became famous for changing the name of french fries to "freedom fries" in House cafeterias after France refused to endorse the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

He faces up to 27 months in prison, CQ said.

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