Disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff tells lawmakers if it sounds too good, it probably is

01/04/2012 04:46 PM

The mandatory ethics training session for Kentucky’s 138 lawmakers has never quite had a headlining speaker like Jack Abramoff before.

Abramoff earned headlines and a three-and-a-half year federal prison sentence for his lack of ethics. He pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, conspiracy and corruption in 2006 after wining and dining members of Congress to get special treatment for his clients, such as special legislative language or government contracts.

He told state lawmakers Wednesday morning that it’s wrong for them to accept any perks from eager lobbyists or companies.

“I’m trying to use what I know to make some rectification. I know I’m not going to be totally do that. I know that the things I was involved (in) and the things I did, I’m never going to be able to unring those bells,” Abramoff said in an interview with Pure Politics.

In an interview after his remarks, Abramoff also fired back at former congressman Robert Livingston, who is now a lobbyist and told Bloomberg News earlier this week that Abramoff was “poisonous” and “evil” and just needed to “go away.”

The Legislative Ethics Commission paid Abramoff $5,000 — the standard speaking fee for the ethics session.

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