Former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, alleges in a new book that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, before assuming the speakership, offered him a private sector job and help with legal bills as Ney found himself increasingly embroiled in the 2007 Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal that eventually claimed his job and landed him in prison.
"If you resign in the next day, I will personally guarantee you a job comparable to what you are making, and raise legal defense money for you," Ney quotes Boehner saying in his book, "Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill."
In the book, Ney portrays Boehner, then one of Ney's colleagues in the Ohio delegation, as a savvy fundraiser but something of a dilettante.
"Many felt his money-raising focus would make up for his lack of concern about legislation - he was considered a man who was all about winning and money," writes Ney. "He was a chain-smoking, relentless wine drinker who was more interested in the high life - golf, women, cigarettes, fun, and alcohol."
Boehner's office firmly rebutted Ney's claims. "This is a convicted felon with a history of failing to tell the truth making a lot of baseless accusations to try and sell books," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel, according to The Hill newspaper. "More than anything else, it's sad."
Ney was convicted and jailed in 2007 for his involvement in the Abramoff scandal, pleading guilty to one charge each of conspiracy and making false statements. The scandal stemmed from allegations that Abramoff had defrauded American Indian tribes of tens of millions of dollars in his work as a lobbyist. He was also convicted of providing public officials with expensive gifts in exchange for political favors; Ney was one such official.
Since leaving prison, Ney has been doing weekly radio analysis and working on his book. On his current relationship with Boehner, according to the Washington Post, he said, "I don't hate him now. At the time, I was furious with him."