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Agents search Sen. Stevens' remodeled Alaska home

July 31, 2007|From the Associated Press

ANCHORAGE — Federal agents searched the home of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on Monday, focusing on records related to his relationship with an oil field services contractor jailed in a public corruption investigation, a law enforcement official said.

Stevens, 83, has been under federal investigation for a 2000 renovation project more than doubling the size of his home in Girdwood, Alaska, that was overseen by Bill Allen, a contractor who has pleaded guilty to bribing state legislators.

Allen is founder of VECO Corp., an Alaska-based oil field services and engineering company that has reaped tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

Agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service arrived at the senator's home Monday afternoon, said Dave Heller, FBI assistant special agent. He said he could not comment on the nature of the investigation.

About 15 agents took photos and video of various angles of the house and eventually entered it.

A law enforcement official familiar with the case confirmed that the raid on Stevens' home was focused on records related to the ongoing VECO investigation. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Stevens' office said in a statement that federal agents had alerted Stevens' attorneys that they wanted to search his home.

Stevens, who first joined the Senate in 1968 and is the longest-serving Republican in the chamber's history, said the interests of justice would be best served if he commented after the investigation.

"I continue to believe this investigation should proceed to its conclusion without any appearance that I have attempted to influence its outcome," Stevens said. "The legal process should be allowed to proceed so that all the facts can be established and the truth determined."

The Justice Department's probe into Allen's relationships has led to charges against state lawmakers and contractors. Last year, FBI raids on the offices of several Alaska lawmakers included Stevens' son, former Alaska Senate President Ben Stevens.

Neither father nor son has been charged.

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