Kevin Ring, a former lobbyist from Kensington, Maryland and former rising star under Jack Abramoff's tutelage, was sentenced to nearly two years in prison for giving public officials meals and event tickets on employees of then-Republican Representatives John Doolittle of California and Ernest Istook of Oklahoma.
He argued up until his emotional sentencing hearing that he was operating in a corrupt D.C. environment controlled by people with money, and that he did not break the law.
Wednesday was the first time he spoke in court after three years of prosecution, including two trials in which he decided not to testify. He was convicted in November 2010 on bribary charges, but earlier juries could not agree on sentencing.
U.S. District judge Ellen Segal Huvelle said Ring's conduct was not nearly as egregious as Abramoff, but gave Ring a sentence of 20 months, one of the stiffest terms among the 21 defendants in the investigation. Most others involved cooperated with prosecutors and got plea deals that avoided prison.
Ring remains free pending the results of an appeal.