View Full Version : FBI, IRS Searching Stevens' Girwood House

07-30-2007, 08:22 PM
FBI, IRS searching Stevens' Girdwood house


Published: July 30, 2007

Federal law enforcement agents are currently searching the Girdwood home of Alaska U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

"All I can say is that agents from the FBI and IRS are currently conducting a search at that residence," said Dave Heller, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Anchorage office. The search began earlier this afternoon, he said. It's the only such search warrant currently being served, he said.

Shortly before 3 p.m., a number of federal agents could be seen outside the house, along with a half-dozen government SUVs. Others were inside. It couldn't immediately be determined what, if anything, was being taken from the house. Agents at the house wouldn't answer questions.

Heller, the FBI spokesman in Anchorage, directed other questions to the U.S. Justice Department's Public Integrity Section in Washington. A spokesman there had no comment, and a spokesman for the IRS wouldn't comment, either.

Stevens' Washington, D.C., lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, said he had a "longstanding practice not to comment on such matters" and woiuld not answer any questions regarding the raid. Sullivan, one of the best-known criminal defense lawyers in Washington, represented former LT. Col. Oliver North, the central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal in the late 1980s.

Stevens said in a written statement that his lawyers were told this morning that federal agents "wished to search my home in Girdwood in connection with an ongoing investigation."

Federal investigators and grand juries looking into public corruption in Alaska have been asking questions about a 2000 remodeling project that more than doubled the size of the Girdwood house -- particularly the involvment of the oil field services firm Veco. Three contractors who worked on the project told the Daily News that their records had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, and others connected with the work and with Stevens had been interviewed.

One of the contractors who worked on the job said he was hired by Veco CEO Bill Allen for the job, and while his bills were paid by Stevens and his wife, Catherine, invoices were reviewed first by Veco.

Allen and a Veco vice president pleaded guilty in May to bribery, extortion and other charges connected with paying off state legislators.

Two weeks ago, Stevens told reporters that money for the remodeling came out of his own pocket.

"As a practical matter, I will tell you. We paid every bill that was given to us," Stevens told reporters. "Every bill that was sent to us has been paid, personally, with our own money, and that's all there is to it. It's our own money."

Beyond that, Stevens has issued a written statement repeatedly in recent months saying he would have no comment on the ongoing corruption probe.

A total of four former state lawmakers have been charged with bribery, along with a prison-industry lobbyist. One, former Anchorage Rep. Tom Anderson was convicted earlier this summer of bribery and other crimes for taking money from the lobbyist for a private prison company.

Last August, federal agents served more than 20 search warrants across the state, including at the offices of six state legislators, including Ted Stevens' son, Ben Stevens, who at the time was the president of the state Senate.

Ted Stevens, 83, is the longest-serving Republican senator.