U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens faces federal grand jury charge in corruption case

| 7/29/2008

The powerful U.S. senator from Alaska whose name is synonymous with “the bridge to nowhere” was indicted Tuesday, July 29, on federal charges of lying to investigators during a public corruption investigation.

Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the U.S. Senate, allegedly accepted gifts from an Alaskan-based oil services company called VECO and then lied about it. The gifts allegedly included extensive improvements on his home, new cars at greatly discounted prices and a gas grill.

At the same time, he’s charged with using his influence on behalf of VECO.

Two VECO officials and five Alaskan state lawmakers have already pleaded guilty or have been convicted in the same federal investigation.

Stevens made headlines when he angrily threatened to quit the Senate if his colleagues refused to allocate more than $200 million for a bridge in Alaska that would have connected the mainland with an uninhabited island. The bridge project was later killed at the state level.