A federal jury in Washington D.C. convicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) Monday on seven counts of failing to disclose that he received up to $250,000 in products and services for the renovation of his house.
A former chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Stevens, 84, is seeking a seventh full term to the Senate. The verdict left open whether he will resign as the fifth sitting senator to be convicted of a crime. The charges could carry a penalty of up to five years in federal prison, though it is unlikely Stevens will be given such a punishment given his age and lack of previous convictions.
Sen. Stevens was
on charges that he received gifts in the form of renovations to this Alaska cabin from oil-services company Veco. Though he was not charged with bribery, the indictment noted that Veco provided the gifts at the time it had business before his committee. The company is one of the largest private employers in the state, according to the Department of Justice.
The government began its probe of Alaska corruption in 2004 -- a probe that led to seven convictions, including of a top Veco official, the former speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives, a state representative and a lobbyist.
Stevens was a key figure in the open-access debate, digital-TV-transition legislation and the indecency issue as chairman of the committee, and he has remained active on communications issues.