Rudy Guilty of Bribery, Violating Revolving Door Rules
On March 31, 2006, Tony Rudy, a lobbyist at the now-disbanded lobbying firm Alexander Strategy Group and the former Deputy Chief of Staff in the leadership office of Representative Tom DeLay, signed a guilty plea in which he admitted that he received bribes when he was in Congressman DeLay's office and that, once he left the Congressman's office, he lobbied that office within one year of leaving the government and provided items of value to public officials in exchange for favorable governmental action.
Mr. Rudy worked for and with both Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon, who previously pled guilty to various ethics law violations. While his violations stem directly from those connections, Mr. Rudy himself also committed specific illegal acts while he was working both inside and outside the government.
While a member of Congressman DeLay's office, Mr. Rudy established a consulting company for his wife through which money was funneled to Mr. Rudy and his wife by both Mr. Abramoff and non-profit organizations to which Mr. Abramoff directed client payments in exchange for benefits for himself and his clients. The consulting company and the non-profit organizations served as a means by which the origins of payments to Mr. Rudy could be concealed.
In addition, Mr. Rudy, as a government official, participated in what the plea agreement describes as a scheme to provide "a stream of things of value to public officials with the intent to influence or reward a series of official actions and agreements to perform official action." That stream included travel, meals, greens fees, entertainment and election contributions for government officials, along with employment for their spouses and family members.
According to the plea agreement, the illegal scheme, and Mr. Rudy's participation in it, continued after he left Congressman DeLay's office. He began lobbying that office soon after he left, in violation of the one- year "revolving door" ban on such lobbying communications. Further, he became more heavily involved in the solicitation of funds from clients to non-profit organizations under the control of Mr. Abramoff in order to pay for impermissible lobbying activities. He also continued to use his wife's consulting firm as a conduit through which to receive additional payments for lobbying, though the firm provided no services in exchange for those payments. The plea agreement provided five examples of these solicitation and laundering techniques in 2002 alone, with nearly $100,000 funneled to Mr. Abramoff and Mr. Rudy.