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US Lawmaker Ney Steps Down from House Chairmanship

A Republican Congressman says he is temporarily stepping down from a House committee-chairman position while he is being investigated for corruption.

Ohio Representative Bob Ney is the second lawmaker to relinquish a House leadership post in recent months.

He said in a statement Sunday that the allegations against him have become a distraction to lawmakers, including those in the committee he chaired, the House Administration Committee.

Ney has been identified as the unnamed lawmaker that lobbyist Jack Abramoff said accepted lavish gifts and financial contributions in exchange for favors and support. Abramoff has pleaded guilty to fraud and tax evasion.

Ney denies any wrongdoing.

Texas representative Tom DeLay stepped down as House Majority Leader late last year after being indicted for alleged campaign finance violations. DeLay had close ties to Abramoff and some of the congressman's aides are being investigated in the Abramoff scandal.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.