Alaska senator got favors, ex-CEO says

first_imgBy Dan Joling THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ANCHORAGE, Alaska – In the latest sign of corruption problems for Republicans, a corporate executive testified Friday that his employees worked for months to remodel the Alaska home of Sen. Ted Stevens. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator, is under scrutiny in a corruption probe that also is targeting Alaska state officials. Bill Allen, former chief executive of oil services company VECO, testified that he spent more than $400,000 to bribe state legislators and for work at Stevens’ house in the ski resort town of Girdwood. He said VECO also paid at least two contractors, a plumber and a carpenter, for work on the house. The project in 2000 more than doubled the size of the four-bedroom structure. Under questioning at the trial of a former state lawmaker, Allen said: “I don’t think there was a lot of materials” bought for the Stevens remodeling, but “there was some labor.” VECO’s business is providing engineering and construction services for oil companies; it does not do home construction. The key question is whether Stevens, who grew up in Redondo Beach, paid for the renovations or received a gift from Allen and VECO. The senator insists he paid from his own funds. It was less than a year ago that Republicans lost control of Congress, in part because Democrats made corruption a major campaign issue. Stevens is one of several senators with ethics problems, complicating an already challenging political landscape for Republicans in 2008. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more