Alaska lawmaker was accused of lying about $250,000 in gifts
Sen. Ted Stevens was found guilty on all counts at his corruption trial Monday.
Stevens was charged with lying on Senate financial forms about $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts he received from an oil contractor. [..]
[..] Stevens faces up to five years in prison on each count, but under federal sentencing guidelines, he would likely receive much less prison time, if any. [..]
[..] In a tight election year, the verdict has the potential to alter the nation’s political landscape. The Senate’s longest-serving Republican is fending off an aggressive Democratic challenger for a seat he’s held for generations. And it could push Democrats toward a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
More from McClatchy:
A federal jury on Monday found Republican Sen. Ted Stevens guilty of lying on his financial disclosure forms, ending in disgrace the four-decade Senate career of a man whose imprint on Alaska dates to before statehood.
It’s the highest-profile felony conviction in a sweeping four-year federal investigation into corruption in Alaska politics, and an almost-unprecedented conviction by a jury of a sitting U.S. senator.
Jurors found that Stevens, 84, willfully filed false financial-disclosure forms that hid such gifts as renovations that doubled the size of his home. Those gifts, valued at as much as $250,000 over seven years, came mostly from his former friend Bill Allen, the star prosecution witness in Stevens’ trial and the former owner of Veco Corp. The oil field-services company was one of Alaska’s largest private employers before Allen, caught up in the federal corruption probe, was forced to sell it last year.
Now, voters will decide whether Stevens, who’s represented the state in the Senate since 1968 and before that helped usher in statehood for Alaska, should continue to serve as their senator. For the first time in his career, Stevens faces a competitive re-election fight, against Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
For more details on the trial, and future implications, read the rest of this article.
UPDATE: Great followup of this breaking news at TPM.
: : : : : : : : : :