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Feeney Takes (Spring) Break From Abramoff Probe

Feeney Takes (Spring) Break From Abramoff Probe

What (beach) balls!

Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), who's been in the spotlight this week for his role in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, is going forward with his "Feeney Spring Break Bash" fundraiser tonight at the American Legion Hall in Washington, D.C.

Feeney spokeswoman Pepper Pennington tells The Sleuth, "It's going to be the fourth annual year of the event. ... We're all looking forward to having a great time."

The party goes on, despite an admission by Feeney's office this week that federal prosecutors have asked the congressman for more information about that infamous 2003 golf trip to the historic St. Andrews golf course in Scotland, a trip that came courtesy of Abramoff.

At the time, Feeney reported on his congressional expense report that the trip cost $5,000. But court documents released Tuesday cited Abramoff's trip as costing about $20,000 per person. Also on Tuesday, former congressional aide Mark Zachares pleaded guilty to conspiracy, revealing new information about the luxury golf expedition.

Adding fuel to the fire, Feeney's longtime former chief of staff, Jason Roe, inexplicably resigned this week from Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. (Complicating Roe's life further, his wife Patty is chief of staff to Rep. Rick Renzi, who's also in the federal corruption spotlight.)

FBI agent Kevin Luebke has "refused to say" whether Feeney is under investigation. Feeney's office has declined comment on the question as well. In a release sent to the St. Petersburg Times on Monday, Feeney's office said the congressman "considers this an embarrassing episode in his 17-year career as an elected official and an expensive lesson for him as a public servant."

At the least, Feeney's fourth annual Spring Break Bash will be a memorable one -- even before it begins.

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