Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska was indicted Tuesday on seven felony counts in a corruption scandal stemming from some mutual back-scratching he allegedly engaged in with oil service and construction company VECO. The charges against the Republican include secretly accepting renovations to his vacation home in exchange for official favors to VECO.
Los Angeles Times:
Prosecutors said the 84-year-old Stevens, required to file financial disclosure forms with the Senate on gifts greater than $10,000, had accepted innumerable gifts valued at $250,000 from the oil services company VECO and its CEO from 1999 to 2006 without reporting them. The gifts included material and labor used in the renovation of Stevens’ private vacation home in Girdwood section of Anchorage, including a new first floor, a garage, a wraparound deck, plumbing and electrical wiring, as well as a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools.
Stevens has adamantly denied any wrongdoing, saying he paid all the bills he was presented for the renovation. Prosecutors said Stevens, the first sitting U.S. senator to be indicted since 1993, will not be arrested and will be allowed to turn himself in.
The indictment alleges that while he was receiving these gifts, Stevens “could and did use his official position and his office on behalf of VECO during the same time period.” Among the company’s requests, said the indictment, were federal grants from several agencies as well as help in building a natural gas pipeline in Alaska’s North Slope region.