Stevens Asks Ethics to Review Finances
Capitol Briefing can report more details on at least one of the extensions granted to lawmakers who did not file personal financial disclosure forms last month:
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) asked the Senate Ethics Committee to review his finances from last year before he officially files them. His office declined to specify why he made that request.
"At Senator Stevens's request, the Senate Ethics Committee is reviewing his 2006 financial disclosure. That process is still ongoing, therefore it was necessary for Senator Stevens to file an extension," said Aaron Saunders, spokesman for Stevens.
Stevens, 83, the longest-serving Republican in Senate history, has been asked by federal investigators to preserve records related to a widening corruption inquiry in Alaska that has brought four indictments of current and former state legislators and plea agreements from a pair of energy company executives. The executives, one of whom is a close friend of Stevens, pleaded guilty to paying more than $400,000 in bribes to the state lawmakers, including an unindicted "state Senator B" whose consulting payments, according to court records, match those reported by Ben Stevens, the son of Sen. Stevens and a former state senator.
A federal grand jury last year subpoenaed billing records from contractors that performed more than $100,000 worth of remodeling on the senator's home in Anchorage in 2000. According to some contractors, that project was overseen by officials from Veco Corp., whose CEO, Bill J. Allen, pleaded guilty to bribing the state officials in an effort to win favorable legislation for a natural gas pipeline.
Stevens's disclosure extension may have nothing to do with the Alaska investigation, but it's worth noting that lawmakers have grown increasingly careful in the wake of mounting criminal prosecutions related to false FD filings.
Here's a page with links to most of the disclosure forms released today.
June 14, 2007; 7:59 PM ET
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