Abramoff Scandal Coming to a Close

January 5, 2011

Today Ann Copland was sentenced to 75 days in a half-way house and 75 days home detention.

Ann Copland, former aid to former Senator Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi), was called the demanding one or greedy one for requesting more and more "gifts" from Abramoff-related lobbyists.  She received more than $25,000 - $30,000 in tickets, meals and gifts in exchange for legislation favorable to Abramoff client, the Choctaw Indians.

AP reports:

U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts told Ann Copland that "for two years, you corrupted the solemn trust" placed in her as a public employee and "you ingratiated yourself with lobbyists," conduct the judge said warranted a sentence serving as a deterrent to others in government. 
Copland had asked to be placed on probation while prosecutors recommended a sentence of 10 to 16 months behind bars, a range set under federal guidelines. 
In 2009, The Washington Post reported that at the time Copland was trading gifts for influence, her boss, Senator Cochran was a "powerful member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. She was a staffer for Cochran for 29 years from 1978 to 2008.

From the March 2009 Department of Justice press release:
In her plea agreement, Copland admitted being lobbied by Jack Abramoff, Todd Boulanger and another lobbyist on matters involving a Native American tribe located in Mississippi. Copland admitted that she took and agreed to take a variety of official actions beneficial to the lobbyists and their clients, including the Mississippi tribe, at the request of Abramoff, Boulanger and others, based in part on the fact that she was receiving and wanted to continue receiving thousands of dollars in tickets to concerts, sports and other entertainment events, from the lobbyists. Specifically, Copland admitted to receiving more than $25,000 worth of tickets, meals and drinks from March 2002 through May 2004, during which time she understood that the lobbyists were giving her those things of value in order to influence her in the performance of her official actions.
Abramoff-related lobbyists Kevin Ring and Todd Boulanger are yet to be sentenced.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Mark Zachares has been sentenced?

Wendy said...

Yes, read this post: http://unheardnomore.blogspot.com/2010/11/zachares-sentenced-to-jail-time.html