WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Ted Stevens, the nation's longest-serving Republican senator and a major figure in Alaska politics since before statehood, was indicted Tuesday on seven counts of failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in services from an oil services company that helped renovate his home.
The first sitting U.S. senator to face federal indictment since 1993, Stevens has been dogged by an investigation into his home renovation project in Alaska and his dealings with wealthy oil contractors.
The probe has upended Alaska state politics and brought negative attention to Stevens — who is running for re-election this year — and to his congressional colleague, Rep. Don Young, who also is under investigation.
Stevens' indictment further damages Republican prospects in the November elections as Senate Democrats, who now enjoy a 51-49 majority, try to capture a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority.
Prosecutors said Stevens received more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp., a powerful oil services contractor, and its executives. 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 and 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.
The Justice Department said Stevens would not be arrested and would be allowed to turn himself in.