Stevens, Prosecutor Spar Over Renovations

Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:07am

Prosecutor Brenda Morris walked Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) through a series of e-mails from the summer and fall of 2000 indicating that he knew the people working on his home were employed by the oil services company VECO, not the carpentry contractor that Stevens was paying for part of the renovations.

Stevens is charged with failing to report on his annual financial disclosure forms thousands of dollars worth of home renovations that were provided to him for free by VECO and its Chief Executive Officer Bill Allen.

Stevens has testified that he believed that the workers were supplied by Allen, not VECO, and that his wife was paying the bills for the renovation, so he assumed she would pay the workers.

Catherine Stevens testified last week that she assumed the VECO employees were actually on the payroll of Christensen Builders, the contracting company the couple paid to finish the interior renovations.

Completing her cross-examination of Stevens, Morris pointed out a string of e-mails in which Stevens discussed with others the work that VECO employees Rocky Williams and Dave Anderson were doing at his home.

Stevens continued to maintain that “VECO was not involved in renovating my house.” He argued that there is a distinction between Allen as the personal friend who provided laborers for the house and Allen as the CEO of VECO.

That led Morris to ask, “You don’t have to disclose gifts from a human?”

Stevens replied, “This has nothing to do with disclosure.”

Judge Emmet Sullivan said he may delay closing arguments in the trial until Tuesday, because the cross examination of the Senator is taking longer than he expected this morning. Sullivan said he prefers to have both sides give closing arguments on the same day, and there may not be enough time remaining for that today.