WASHINGTON — Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator and a figure in Alaska politics since before statehood, was indicted Tuesday on seven counts of failing to disclose thousands of dollars in services he received from a company that helped renovate his home.
Stevens, the first sitting U.S. senator to face federal indictment since 1993, has been dogged by a federal investigation into his home renovation project and whether he pushed for fishing legislation that also benefited his son, an Alaska lobbyist.
From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said, the 84-year-old senator concealed "his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation."
The indictment unsealed Tuesday says 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 a Viking gas grill, furniture and tools. He also was accused of failing to report swapping an old Ford for a new Land Rover to be driven by one of his children.
Justice Department officials were holding a news conference later Tuesday to discuss the charges against Stevens.
Messages left at both Stevens' Senate office in Washington and his campaign office in Anchorage were not immediately returned. His attorney also did not return calls.
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."
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.
Ted Stevens Indicted On 7 Criminal Charges