Some catharsis for those frustrated by Ted Stevens’ case
For those following the debacle of former Senator Ted Stevens’ prosecution, the big news today was that the head of the unit at the Justice Department who handled the case, stepped down, moving back to Massachusetts for “family reasons.”
For those that diligently followed the Stevens’ investigation this is something of a catharsis. There were a lot of things that went wrong with the government’s case against Stevens. To refresh: there was a huge typo in the indictment; the Justice Department withholding of evidence in discovery (which led to it being excluded) and the affair the Justice staffer supposedly had with the government’s key witness. And that’s not even counting the other distractions in the trial, like the juror who skipped deliberations to head to a horse race in California.
But there’s one more, less publicized, bit of relief for those eager for justice to be served to those involved in Stevens’ shady dealings: the prosecution is finally asking for $750,000 fine and 46 months in prison for Bill Allen, their key witness in the case. This is exciting because, well, there’s been a fair amount of speculation about whether Allen would ever be sentenced.
Even though Allen was found guilty in 2007, he’s been jetting between Alaska and New Mexico, where his son Mark owns a horse ranch (Mark was a co-owner of the horse who won the Kentucky Derby). While he did give the Justice Department almost a half-dozen corrupt local officials and provide the majority of the case against Ted Stevens, the sentence is still significantly less than the time given to those Allen brought down. Rep. Pete Kott got 6 years on far lesser offenses than Allen was convicted of, and the same goes for former Rep. Vic Kohring, who was sentenced to 42 months after accepting a couple thousand dollars in bribes from Allen.
Allen’s attorney’s are obviously arguing for a reduction in sentencing, but it seems to me that a mere 46-months isn’t quite enough for the man that brought down Alaska.