The 26 year friendship of indicted Sen. Ted Stevens and former VECO CEO Bill Allen has been on display while Allen testifies as the prosecution’s key witness in the sitting senator’s trial.
Allen described his annual fishing trips (pictured at left) and visits with the senator, where they would walk and smoke cigars and drink wine “now and then.”
“We really liked each other, you know?” Allen reminisced, yesterday. “Ted really worked hard. Ted loved Alaska and I loved Alaska.”
Besides recounting his history with Stevens in his testimony Tuesday, Allen spent much of the afternoon detailing a transaction where he traded a new Land Rover for Stevens’ 1964 Mustang convertible. The Land Rover was worth approximately $44,000 while Stevens’ Mustang — including a $5000 payment to Allen — was worth a little over $32,000.
In their decades of friendship, Allen gave Stevens over $250,000 worth of gifts — everything from grills to home renovations — gifts that Stevens failed to include on his Senate disclosure forms. Stevens claims that he was unaware of all of the work that Allen was doing on his home, and that he never asked Allen for free work or favors.
This morning, the prosecution submitted thank-you notes from Stevens to Allen, in an attempt to prove that Stevens knew that he was receiving favors from Allen.
“You continue to amaze me, the way you can keep so many balls in the air at one time,” Stevens wrote in an August 2000 note, the AP reports. “It was great to see you at the Bogart movie and I thank you for all that you are doing on the house.”
Allen’s testimony was cut short this afternoon when the judge recessed early to accommodate a juror’s schedule. The trial will resume tomorrow with the prosecution expected to wrap up its case before Friday.