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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sen. Stevens' Indicted by the Department of Justice

The Department of Justice is about to announce indictments against republican Senator Ted Stevens from Alaska. In 2007 Stevens' home was raided for information in connection to Bill Allen an oil field services contractor. Bill Allen was convicted in a state corruptions case back in 2000. Mr. Allen, the CEO of VECO, was contracted to oversee construction on renovations to Stevens' home. Stevens' is currently being investigated for his many earmarks, some of which have benefitted VECO. One of Steven's most famous earmarks is the bridge to nowhere.
More updates to come after the Press Conference.

The Federal Grand Jury charged Senator Stevens with seven felony counts of making false statements. Charges relate to Financial Disclosure forms required to be filed by the Senator on a yearly basis. The indictment alleges that the Senator falsified information on the Financial Disclosure forms. The disclosure monitors and deters conflicts of interest for public officials. The Senator must disclose receipt of gifts from any single source and any liability or debt owed over 10k and who debt was owed too.

While as senator 1999-2006 Sen. Stevens accepted gifts from VECO and CEO Bill Allen. Gifts of material and labor for renovation of private residents includes a new 1st floor and finished full basement. VECO contractors and employees provided most of the labor and design. Other gifts include household goods, furniture, automobile exchange, and other gifts totaling $250,000. During the period of receiving these gifts federal investigators allege that VECO solicited Stevens for certain benefits.

According to

Allen and other VECO employees were soliciting Stevens for "multiple official actions .... knowing that Stevens could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during that same time period." VECO's requests included funding and other aid for the oil services company's projects and partnerships in Pakistan and Russia. It also included federal grants from several agencies — as well as help in building a national gas pipeline in Alaska's North Slope Region, according to the indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Senator Stevens is innocent till proven guilty in a court of law. He is expected to turn himself in either in Washington or Alaska.