Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Found Guilty of Corruption

senator ted steven guilty Jury returns a guilty verdict on seven felony counts

Senator Ted Stevens will be allowed to remain on the ballot for reelection.

By Ane Howard

Washington,D.C(RushPRnews)10/27/08-Republican Ted Stevens, currently the longest serving GOP Senator on Capitol Hill  has been found guilty on all seven felony charges, of falsifying financial documents.  Jurors found that Stevens, 84, lied on his  financial-disclosure forms and hid gifts, valued at as much as $250,000 over seven years.

These gifts  came mostly from his former friend Bill Allen, an energy contractor, who turned against his old friend, as the star prosecution witness in Stevens’ trial.  Bill Allen  is the former owner of Veco Corp, was caught up in the federal corruption probe, was forced to sell  his company last year.

Patti Higgins, chairman of the Alaska Democratic Party, in a statement released called on Stevens to “immediately resign” his Senate seat. “He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he did it anyway and lied to Alaskans about it. Alaskans deserve better from their public officials. It’s time for us to elect an ethical and honest Senator who will move this state forward,” Higgins said. Despite the guilty verdict, Stevens is allowed to reamin on the ballot in Alaska, where he is in a tight race with Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. Stevens could remain in the Senate for months, if not longer, if he chose to appeal the verdict.

When exiting the courtroom, Stevens kissed his wife on the cheek and told her,”It’s not over.”.  The defense team has already asked for a new trial based on irregularities with the prosecution. The team is hoping to overturn all convictions.

The Justice Department has charged 11 people in connection with its corruption probe in Alaska, including five former and current state legislators in Alaska. Other than Stevens, five pleaded guilty, three were convicted by juries in Alaska and two await trial.

The Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, upon news of the conviction, stated” this is an example of  just another sad, but not surprising spectacle of corruption and cynicism in the nation’s capital.”

Under sentencing guidelines, Stevens is facing up to five years in prison for each count, but is likely to receive much less.

Here below are the charges and verdict:

COUNT ONE: False Statements, Scheme

ACCUSATION: Stevens engaged in a scheme to conceal from his Senate financial disclosure documents home renovations and other gifts he received from Allen and VECO from 2000-2006. Stevens contends he never asked for any freebies and believed he paid for everything he received.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT TWO: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2001 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, VECO employees dramatic renovated Stevens’ mountain cabin, building a new first floor and installing a new electrical system. Allen also filled Stevens’ house with furniture, left a tool box in his garage and installed a grill on the porch. Stevens also received from another friend an expensive massage chair, which Stevens said was a loan, and a custom work of stained glass, which Stevens said his wife arranged and he knew nothing about.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT THREE: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2002 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, VECO employees installed a new roof, wraparound deck and rope lighting system on Stevens’ home. An expensive fish statue, donated to his foundation by an Alaska nonprofit group, was also charged as a gift because it ended up on Stevens’ front porch.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT FOUR: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2003 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, Stevens received an Alaskan sled dog puppy from a friend who paid $1,000 for it at a charity auction. Stevens reported the gift’s value as $250 and wrote that it was from a charity in honor of his public service.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT FIVE: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2004 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, VECO employees installed or repaired kitchen appliances and performed maintenance on a rooftop snow-melt system at Stevens’ house.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT SIX: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2005 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, VECO employees performed roof and gutter repairs and electrical wiring.

VERDICT: Guilty

COUNT SEVEN: False Statements

ACCUSATION: Stevens knowingly made false, fictitious or fraudulent statements on his 2006 Senate financial disclosure form regarding gifts from Allen and others. That year, a VECO employee and an outside contractor performed work on the boiler at Stevens’ house. VECO’s costs were never paid and Allen paid the outside contractor’s labor. Stevens says he asked to be billed and didn’t consider it a gift.

VERDICT: Guilty