ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Former Senate President Ben Stevens, a Republican who was once investigated for corruption by the FBI in Anchorage and whose legislative offices were raided by the FBI in 2006, began a job this week as a $150,000-a-year policy advisor to Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
Stevens is one of the sons of the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens. The senior Stevens lost re-election to his Senate seat in 2008 a week after a jury found him guilty of seven felonies for lying on disclosure forms. He was charged with failing to report gifts and home improvements, many of them from the same oil-field services contractor, Bill Allen, who paid Ben Stevens $243,000 in “consulting fees” while Ben Stevens was still a senator.
The verdict against Ted Stevens was thrown out after the U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, dismissed the indictment and said that prosecutors engaged in misconduct.
Ted Stevens died in a plane crash in 2010.
Ben Stevens never said what he did for the $243,000. A VECO vice president testified that he bribed Stevens.
VECO was but one of several companies paying Stevens while he was a senator. The Alaska Public Offices Commission reported that Advance North, a consulting firm in which Ben Stevens held a 50 percent stake, was paid $392,500 between 2003 and 2005 from fishing industry clients with business before the state.
APOC ruled that Stevens was required to disclose each client and the amount paid, but a Superior Court Judge overruled the APOC ruling when Stevens appealed, saying Stevens’ disclosure was proper.
The person who had filed the complaint in the Advance North case, former legislator and anti-corruption activist Ray Metcalfe, said Wednesday that people would be mistaken to think that Ben Stevens was “innocent” even though he was never indicted.
“I think there are some people who have bought into the ‘I’m innocent’ baloney that has been out there,” Metcalfe said. “Eric Holder pulled the plug on that investigation and there were several people who avoided what would have eventually been an indictment.”
A spokesman for Dunleavy, Jeff Turner, said Stevens wasn’t available for comment. Turner said Stevens is one of three policy advisors to Dunleavy, and that his areas of specialty were transportation, legislation and fishing.