He had been under investigation for several years. From AP–
WASHINGTON – Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator and a figure in Alaska politics since before statehood, has been indicted on seven counts of falsely reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in services he received from a company that helped renovate his home.
Stevens, 84, has been dogged by a federal investigation into whether he pushed for fishing legislation that also benefited his son, an Alaska lobbyist.
From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said Stevens concealed “his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation.” The indictment released Tuesday said the items included: home improvements to his vacation home in Alaska, including a new first floor, garage, wraparound deck, plumbing, electrical wiring; as well as car exchanges, a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools.
Justice Department officials were holding a news conference later Tuesday to discuss the charges.
Messages left Tuesday at both Stevens’ Senate office in Washington and his campaign office in Anchorage were not immediately returned.
Prosecutors said Stevens “took multiple steps to continue” receiving things from oil services company VECO Corp., and its founder, Bill Allen. At the time, the indictment says, 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.”
Stevens indictment is just the latest troubling news for the GOP as they try to not get knocked out in this November’s Senate races. The Alaska Senate seat under normal circumstances would be considered safely Republican. Not so in 2008, where Stevens troubles has brought a serious Democratic challenge from Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. As things stand at the moment, the Republican party will be lucky not to lose more than five Senate seats this fall.