- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2006

ASSOCIATED PRESS

A former Department of the Interior employee pleaded guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor charge for failing to report gifts he received from ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Roger Stillwell told a federal magistrate that he had received hundreds of dollars worth of football and concert tickets from Abramoff, who at the time was lobbying for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Mr. Stillwell was with the Interior Department’s insular affairs office, which handles issues involving the island government.

Documents filed as part of Mr. Stillwell’s plea do not indicate whether he is providing authorities with evidence against others who might be involved in the case.

Mr. Stillwell received four tickets to a Washington Redskins game in December 2003 valued at $316 but with an actual cost of $2,147, prosecutors said. He also accepted two tickets to a 2003 Simon and Garfunkel concert worth $166, prosecutors said.

Neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys would say whether Mr. Stillwell provided Abramoff anything in return for the gifts.

“He recognizes that his decision on how to treat gifts from Mr. Abramoff was inexcusable. For that he has deep remorse,” defense attorney Justin P. Murphy said.

He said Mr. Stillwell had been friends with Abramoff and his family for many years before he took the job at the Interior Department.

U.S. Magistrate Alan Kay set sentencing for Oct. 26. Mr. Stillwell faces up to a year in prison.

So far, the Abramoff probe has resulted in guilty pleas by two ex-aides to former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican; a former chief of staff to Rep. Bob Ney, Ohio Republican; and Abramoff.

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