BELLAIRE Former U.S. Congressman Bob Ney spoke to the American History class Wednesday at St. John High School as part of the Eagle Legacy Lecture Series.
Ney is just one of several speakers that have and will participate in this series.
This lecture series was first created by St. John government and world history teacher Michael Loccisano when senior Aaron Ebbert approached him about having guest speakers come in. Through Facebook, Loccisano contacted Ney and asked if he would speak to his students. Ney, a St. John's graduate in the class of 1972, agreed.
"One student Aaron Ebbert approached me and said that it would really cool for government class if you could get someone like a congressman to come in I was friends with Bob Ney on Facebook, so I sent him a message," said Loccisano.
Ney not only spoke to the seniors about what is going on in government and how it works, but also his own personal rise and fall from grace.
"I have not been back since I resigned to do any formal speaking," said Ney, who was born and raised in West Bellaire. Ney resigned from Congress in November of 2006. " I come back all the time since my family is here, but not to actually speak to a group. So when Loccisano contacted me I agreed to do it."
Ney, who has served in several different political roles and has a degree in teaching, thought that he could offer the students multiple different perspectives. Some of these perspectives include how Congress and several other levels of government operates, what is going on with the current government and to give lessons learned.
"I went to school here, I was very fortunate to be elected to three levels of government and I ended up falling and there are reasons why I will be candid with the class," said Ney. "I can give them lessons learned, what you need to look at, the warning signs. I think I can give an unobjective, non-basis view, which I will, the questions they will have about the government on personal level and give an insight on (substance abuse)."
Some of the warning signs Ney mentioned was getting involved with the wrong people, the wrong thinking and the bad behavior like Ney mentioned he had and also substance abuse. Ney is currently in a 12 step program for alcohol abuse.
Ney is a sponsor for several people who have problems with both alcohol and drugs. Ney went through a rehab program while he was in prison. He was incarnated for 17 months through a plea deal. One year was done in a federal prison in Morgantown and the other seven months was served in a halfway house in Columbus.
"It's really neat being back (in St. John's) the hallways looked so big when I was a student, but it's great. This is a wonderful school and I appreciate Mr. Loccisano for inviting me It feels really good to be back, it feels a little different, but it is always good to be home," said Ney.
Van Dyne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.