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Stevens Claims No Knowledge of Many Home Renovations

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) said that many of the renovations performed at his Alaska home from 2000 to 2002 took place without his knowledge, and that he repeatedly asked to be billed for them.

He said allegations that he knew there was more work being done on his home than he had paid for were lies.

Stevens stands accused of seven counts of knowingly filing incorrect financial disclosure forms. The government alleges that Stevens received around $250,000 worth of gifts from various people, including about $188,000 in renovations to his Alaska home from his friend Bill Allen, the CEO of the now-defunct oil services firm VECO.

Stevens testified that a steel staircase, a first-floor deck and a steel balcony were installed without his knowledge. After he saw them, he said, he asked Allen for bills. Allen has testified that he believed Stevens was just “covering his ass“ with those requests, but Stevens said today that was untrue.

Allen had testified earlier about a conversation he claimed he and Stevens had in Arizona at a “boot camp” they attended together, saying the conversation revolved around legal fees in another corruption case. “That’s just an absolute lie,” Stevens said Friday.

When Stevens’ attorney asked whether he had told Allen — as Allen had testified — that he knew Allen was not telling him about all of the expenses on the renovations, Stevens replied, “That’s another falsehood.”

In three hours of testimony, Stevens reiterated his wife’s testimony yesterday that they were unhappy with much of the work at the house.

The Senator pointed out that a heat-tape system Allen had installed on the roof of the house to melt snow is still not functional. The gutters on the roof have been damaged by ice and still have not been repaired because “I’ve made an agreement not to modify this house at all.” Stevens said the FBI has demanded that he “not to change this house in any way” because of the ongoing investigation.

Stevens said that same agreement explains why he still has on his porch a fish statue that was given to him. He said he understood the statue was intended for the library that will ultimately house his papers.

Sullivan introduced into evidence photographs of the large wooden crate that the statue arrived in, which Stevens said still sits on his porch several years after the statue arrived. “I’ve kept it because it’s got to be shipped somewhere,” the Senator said.

Stevens will complete his testimony this afternoon, and prosecutors are likely to begin cross-examination before the day is over.

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