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Tag: Alaska

Column: Stevens Case Shows that Prosecutors Need Supervision

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens/campaign photo

Michael Carey is the former editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News and the host of the weekly public affairs show “Alaska Edition” for Alaska Public Television.

 By Michael Carey
Los Angeles Times

ANCHORAGE — As his trial on corruption charges approached in the fall of 2008, Ted Stevens railed to me in an email: “What did I do, Michael? What did I do?” The wounded rage smoldering in that rhetorical question to a reporter reflected his belief that he had done nothing wrong. He continued to insist on his innocence after aWashington, D.C., jury found him guilty of lying on financial disclosure forms.

Stevens’ conviction was dismissed in 2009 after the Justice Department’s admission that government lawyers failed to turn over evidence the Stevens defense should have received. U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who presided over Stevens’ trial, soon authorized an investigation of the prosecutors’ conduct, a move as rare as the trial of a U.S. senator.

Last week, the judge’s investigator, Special Counsel Henry F. Schuelke, issued his findings, which Stevens will never read. He died in a 2010 airplane accident.

To read full column click here.

Taxpayers Dish Out Nearly $1.8 Million to Defend Lawyers in Failed Prosecution of Late Ted Stevens

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens

Brad Heath
USA Today

WASHINGTON – The federal government has spent nearly $1.8 million defending prosecutors from allegations they broke the law in the botched corruption case against former Alaska senator Ted Stevens, Justice Department records show.

The case against Stevens fell apart three years ago when the Justice Department admitted its attorneys had improperly concealed evidence that could have helped his defense. A court-ordered investigation concluded in November that prosecutors had engaged in “significant, widespread, and at times intentional misconduct,” but that they should not face criminal contempt-of-court charges.

Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the department has paid about $1.6 million since 2009 to private lawyers representing the six prosecutors targeted by that court investigation. It also paid $208,000 to defend three prosecutors from a separate finding that they had committed civil contempt of court.

To read more click here.

Report on Sen. Stevens’ Prosecutors Doesn’t Call for Charges, But Finds Plenty Wrong

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens/campaign photo

By Nedra Pickler
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The special prosecutor who investigated the botched case against late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens is not recommending criminal charges against any of the Justice Department attorneys who tried him despite finding widespread misconduct beyond what has yet been publicly revealed.

The findings in a two-and-a-half-year investigation by Washington lawyer Henry F. Schuelke III were revealed Monday in an order from U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan wrote that the investigation found the Stevens prosecution was “permeated” by the prosecutors’ concealment of evidence they collected that could have helped the senator’s defense.

The full 500-page report remains under seal until the Justice Department has a chance to respond, but Sullivan says he will release it publicly.

To read more click here.

FBI Investigating Espionage Charges of US Soldier

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Army Times is reporting on an ongoing FBI investigation of an Alaska-stationed soldier on suspicion of espionage.

Spc. William Colton Millay,22, a military cop, was taken into custody last Friday in the early morning hours, while the FBI and Army Counterintelligence continued to investigate, the paper reported.

Lt. Col. Bill Coppernoll told Reuters that he expected to ” prefer charges sometime this week. The news agency reported that charges would be brought under the Uniform Code of Military Justice in the military courts. Details of the allegations were not disclosed.

“Today’s arrest was the result of the close working relationship between the FBI and its military partners in Alaska,” special agent in charge of the FBI in Alaska Mary Frances Rook said.

To read more click here.

Pa. Father and Son Indicted for Making Harassing Calls to Sarah Palin’s Family

Sarah Palin/ official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Put Sarah Palin into the equation, and you’re bound to get plenty attention. Just ask Christy, 47, and his 22-year-old son Shawn.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the FBI from the Allentown, Pa. office on Thursday arrested the two on charges of making hundreds of harassing calls to Palin’s family and associates.

They were indicted out of Alaska and are expected to be sent there to face the charges. It was unclear if Palin herself received the calls.

To read more click here.

Feds Won’t Charge Son of Late Sen. Ted Stevens

Sen. Ben Stevens

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Stevens family has had its share of legal luck.

The latest: The Anchorage Daily News reports that ex-Alaska state Senate President Ben Stevens, son of the late Sen. Ted Stevens, won’t be prosecuted in what the paper described as  a “rapidly fading Alaska political corruption investigation.”

The paper reported that family friends of Stevens said he recently received a letter from fed prosecutors saying he won’t face charges. The paper reported that a “government source” confirmed that the letter had been sent.

The paper reported that the FBI raided Steven’s office in 2006 along with five other state lawmakers. Four were convicted.

Steven’s father, the late Sen. Ted Stevens, was convicted of public corruption charges in 2008. However, a fed judge, at the request of the Justice Department, vacated the conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct. Prosecutors failed to turn over materials to the defense team.

To read the full story click here.

FBI Releases 3,600 Pages on the Late Sen. Ted Stevens

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens before his defeat

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI on Friday released about 3,600 pages on the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, about 2,700 of which were from media reports.

The files included complaints received by the FBI Anchorage office alleging “instances of Stevens being involved in corruption or other illegal activities” and Stevens accepting free services.

The files also detail threats made against Stevens over the years including in 1985 when he was among a number of members of Congress members who received threatening letters, the FBI said.

Stevens was convicted on public corruption charges in 2008,just before he was up for re-election. He lost the election. But a federal judge, at the request of the Justice Department, ended up vacating the conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Stevens died in a plane crash last August. He served in the Senate from 1968 until Jan. 3, 2009.

Some of the information contained in the files, according to the FBI, included:

* Letters back and forth between Stevens and FBI Directors and other executives, the U.S. attorney general, and the Anchorage special agents in charge discussing legislation, constituent concerns, crime reporting, and news articles of interest;

* Letters of complaint from the public and political organizations regarding alleged corruption, which tie in other Alaskan political figures;

* References from the 1950s when Stevens was the U.S. Attorney (involving his appointment to the position and participation in U.S. Attorney conferences); and

* Correspondence between Hoover and other FBI executives regarding Stevens’ relationship with the FBI and the Anchorage Field Office as a U.S. Attorney.

Read Files

Alaska U.S. Attorney Opens Juneau Office

alaska map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alaska, the Frontier State, is spreading its wings.

Come next month, it will open a new office in Juneau, the state capital, the Juneau Empire reports.

Former Juneau Assistant District Attorney Jack Schmidt, 38, was recently hired to work in that office, which will be housed in the Federal Building. Meanwhile, Schmidt is working out of the FBI office, the Empire reported.

“He’s already working, we just don’t physically have the space yet,” Alaska U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler told the Empire.

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