Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens will have a chance for a pre-election verdict on charges of knowingly filing inaccurate financial statements to hide more than $250,000 in gifts from disgraced oil field services company VECO Corp. and top company executives, reports the Fairbanks News-Miner. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history, was given a Sept. 24 trial date by Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C.
Stevens, who declared his innocence, is also seeking to move the trial to Alaska. Sullivan noted that moving the trial across the country appeared to conflict with the idea of moving fast. Prosecutors said they need about three weeks to present their case. Stevens' attorney said the defense would probably need about a week. The indictment unveiled Tuesday alleges VECO executives, from 1999 to 2007, paid for a new first floor, garage, wrap-around deck, plumbing and wiring at Stevens' Girdwood, Ak., home, as well a new gas grill, tool cabinet, tools, and furniture. The government alleges Stevens failed to pay Allen or VECO for the expenses and did not declare them on his annual financial disclosure forms.