Sen. Ted Stevens Took Undisclosed Gifts Worth $250K, Including Viking Gas Grill

July 29, 2008 2:44 pm

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) was indicted today for accepting more than $250,000 in undisclosed renovations and repairs for his home in Girwood, Alaska, according to Stevens’ indictment.

Stevens’ friend William Allen, the head of VECO company, was providing most of the labor and some supplies for the projects, but never charged Stevens for the work, according to the indictment today.

In 2000, Stevens and Allen began discussing renovations for his home, putting together a plan that would eventually include a full basement, first-floor addition with multiple bedrooms and a bathroom, the indictment said.

It was a massive undertaking. Workers took the small home and jacked it up on stilts, then built a new first floor underneath with two bedrooms and a bathroom, the indictment said.

Then workers added a garage with a workshop and a second-story wraparound deck. VECO employees and contractors also installed electrical, plumbing, framing, heating, and flooring materials, the indictment said.

In 2001, Allen gave Stevens some furniture, a new Viking gas grill and a new tool shed full of tools, according to the indictment.

In 2002, VECO continued work on the outside of the house, installing a first-floor wraparound deck, a plastic roof between the first- and second-floor decks, and a lighting system worth a total of about $55,000, the indictment said.

In 2004, VECO installed some kitchen appliances in the house, the indictment said.

In 2005, the company did some repairs to the roof and gutters, the indictment said.

In 2006, Stevens called Allen and asked him to repair his boiler system. Allen instructed the contractor to divide the bill into two parts, supplies and labor. Allen told the contractor to send the bill for supplies to Stevens and the labor to Allen, the indictment said.

Stevens knew this, and at least once asked Allen to send him the invoice for the labor, but Allen never did and Stevens never reimbursed him, the indictment said.

The home renovations were not the first time Stevens had accepted favors from Allen.

Back in 1999, Stevens mentioned to Allen that he wanted to get a new car for his daughter. That led to a deal in which Allen gave Stevens a new 1999 Land Rover Discovery, worth $44,000. In exchange, Stevens gave Allen a 1964½ Ford Mustang and $5,000. Prosecutors say the Mustang was worth less than $20,000.

In September 2000, Stephens wrote Allen an email about the work:

“we’ve never worked with a man so easy to get along with as [a VECO employee], Plus, everyone who’s seen the place wants to know who has done the things he’s done. . . . You and [PERSON A] have been the spark plugs and we are really pleased with all you have done. hope to see you and the chalet soon. best teds.”

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