Busted: Pete Kott leaves federal court in Anchorage with Debora Stovern, right, and daughter Pam Kott after being convicted of conspiracy, extortion and bribery on Sept. 25, 2007.
The federal corruption probe that first blew the lid off the Alaskan political scene a year ago with the discovery of $32,200 in cash stashed away in the home of Republican Pete Kott, former speaker of the Alaskan House of Representatives, has since spread like an oil slick, leaving precious few prominent lawmakers unstained.
The Washington Post:
When the FBI came looking for corruption in Alaska politics, it found an excellent perch in Suite 604 of the Baranof Hotel in Juneau, the state capital. There, a profane septuagenarian named Bill Allen did business throughout a 2006 special session called to set taxes on the oil industry. With hundred-dollar bills in his front pocket for ease of access when lawmakers turned up with their hands out, the oil-services company executive turned in a bravura performance before the pinhole camera that federal agents installed opposite his favorite chair.
“Let me count first here,” Allen said, shushing a former statehouse speaker as he counted out a bribe in video footage entered as evidence in the lawmaker’s September trial, one of several crowding the docket of the federal court here.
On another tape, Pete Kott, the former Republican speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, crowed as he described beating back a tax bill opposed by oil companies. “I had to cheat, steal, beg, borrow and lie,” Kott said. “Exxon’s happy. BP’s happy. I’ll sell my soul to the devil.”