Ted Stevens Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

A federal grand jury indicted Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska today, on “on seven felony counts alleging that he lied to conceal his acceptance of $250,000 in gifts and services from a now-defunct Alaska oil services and construction company.”

Stevens notified senior Republicans that he’d abide by a Senate Republican rule and temporarily step down from his ranking posts on the Senate Commerce Committee and an Appropriations subcommittee.

The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Washington, charges that Stevens made false statements on his annual Senate financial-disclosure statements for the years 2001 through 2006 to conceal gifts from VECO Corp. and its chief executive officer, Bill Allen. If he’s convicted, Stevens could face an unspecified fine and as much as five years in prison.

Today’s indictment was the latest event in a “sweeping, four-year-old federal investigation of public corruption in Alaska that already has led to seven convictions and also is focusing on veteran Republican Rep. Don Young.”

The investigation has revolved around VECO, whose executives have been the top donors to Alaskan political campaigns in recent years.

Stevens, the 11th sitting senator to be charged under federal criminal laws since 1808, issued a statement saying that he’s “never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. senator. . . . I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that.”

McClatchy reports that “most of the allegedly illicit gifts to Stevens from 1999 to 2006 came during a renovation that doubled the size of a house he owns with his wife, Catherine, in Girdwood, Alaska.”

VECO employees and contractors performed architectural design services, put the house on stilts and installed a new three-bedroom first floor, a finished basement, a garage, a Viking gas range and a wraparound deck, according to the indictment.

While Stevens paid a construction firm for its work, he never reimbursed VECO or its contractors, even while staying involved in the progress of the work, it said. In a 2000 e-mail, the indictment said, Stevens described Allen and his employee as “spark plugs” and told Allen, “Everyone who’s seen the place wants to know who has done the things he’s done . . . we are really pleased with all you have done. Hope to see you and the chalet soon.”

Stevens also is accused of trading his vintage Ford Mustang and $5,000 to Allen in the spring of 1999 for a new Land Rover Discovery worth about $44,000, a car he told Allen he wanted for his daughter, Lily. Stevens’ Mustang was worth about $20,000 at the time, according to the indictment.

Meanwhile, as Stevens then served as the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Allen and VECO sought his help with international projects, grants from the National Science Foundation and funding for a natural gas pipeline on Alaska’s North Slope, the grand jury charged.

Both Bill Allen and Richard Smith, a “former VECO vice president of community affairs and government relations, pleaded guilty in May 2007 to making more than $400,000 in corrupt payments to public officials from Alaska.”

McClatchy notes that Bill Allen’s plea was perhaps the biggest “blow to Stevens, because he agreed to cooperate with investigators in return for leniency.” Stevens is maintaining his innocence and his peers in the Senate on both sides of the aisle, expressed shock. It remains to be seen what kind of impact Stevens indictment will have on Election ’08.

RELATED POST: Ted Stevens’ Northern Exposure.

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7 Responses to Ted Stevens Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

  1. Veco Corporation was an Alaska based oil pipeline service and construction company until it’s purchase in Sept. 2007 by Colorado based CH2HILL. Divisions in many oil markets. Video Tape FBI Sting ? Gees, Peas Louise !

  2. Veco sold Sept. 2007 and purchased by Colorado based CH2HILL. Divisions in many oil markets. CNN reported on a video tape FBI sting involving Veco.

  3. You are innocent until proven guilty and we’ll see what happens next ! How did we get into following all this ? Hillary Clinton and I’m seeing this election to the end and then never doing it again. Hurry up and win Obama ! Get that Hillary Clinton in there and let’s wrap it up and get on with some positive changes ! God Bless The United States of America !

  4. Perspective investments in oil ? How many investments and billions are currently invested ? Pensions ,stocks ,401’s and retirement for those that are invested. Banks ,hedge funds etc. Off shore drilling or not ? Watch what happens to the price of oil when the American people refuse to drive or just can’t afford to do so and don’t. Bush just made a speech to ask congress to vote.Obama speaks on economics about what Americans are experiencing and John Mcsame. Bush speaks out the democratic congress isn’t using common sense solutions. How much oil in Anwar ? If it’s there and where,we’ll see it by 2030 and the Dept. of Energy says it will not bing prices down much at all.  75% chance our polar ice caps will melt in fve years and drill more ? The weather changes, we are all aware of and drill more and the democrats aren’t using common sense solutions in congress per Bush ? Why are our energy independent cars in Europe ? Stocks on oil are doing nothing. The power of voices across America when they come together ! There are investment options rather than oil ! Get oil to to $2,00 for Americans and then we’ll invest in positive solutions. Grid lock ! The donkey’s aren’t moving and you don’t get donkey’s in a barn mad ! Pull the reins all you want but donkey’s keeps kicking ! “As we get the new innovations up and running.” Kay Bailey, from Texas elephant. Our innovations are ready ! Open our US wind corridors and place a moritorium on the oil ! Set the price to $2.00 and go drill elephants ! Meanwhile we’ll invest in innovations on solutions ! Is it $70.00 dollars a barrel yet ? Donkey’s keep kicking and it may go to $50.00. Not to mention the American people aware of the price of eggs and milk.Save 300 billion on imports plus, for US and let’s head for solutions ! Big oil elephants be smart. Get those prices at the pump on down and you don’t get donkey’s in a barn mad or place the blame and that’s when we see elephants go lame. Middle class is out of work and you’re in trouble big elephant ! Farmers going poop to methane and have said to heck with it,we can’t afford to run the farm.The young voices are converting their engines to french fry grease. Can we borrow $70.00 for gas mom ? Go ask your dad ! Dad says, “smell like a french fry or go ride your bike to the baseball game and he’s an elephant.” The kids go research and figure it out ! The car engine is all over the garage and they found the french fry grease and mom’ s laughing ! You didn’t loan them the $70.00 big oil elephant. Dad drives french fry smelling car to work and shows off kids innovation ! It’s actually running ! Imagine that ! Now you knew you couldn’t keep drilling forever !

  5. Donkey’s” keep” kicking ! Like a donkey kicks a lion to a tree ! Go get Clinton on economics fast !

  6. McCain reads his speech and says,”I want to look you in the eye and tell you ,”I will not raise your taxes.” He’s reading a script and not looking us in the eye when he says it. Do you mean it ?

  7. SC says:

    I think you’d really enjoy this video of Ted Stevens’ wiretapped phone call:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nHR-E_tZTE