Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) has been found guilty on seven counts of making false statements for failing to disclose gifts he received from VECO, an Alaskan oil services company, on Senate disclosure forms. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, was indicted in July and was the first sitting senator to be indicted since 1993. This marks the most recent incident in a series of corruption and nepotism charges that have dogged Alaska state politicians in recent years.
Stevens is currently seeking reelection for a seventh term in the Senate, and is facing a tough race against Mark Begich (D). Because it is within 45 days of the election, the Republican Party cannot remove Stevens from the ballot. Stevens is vowing to continue his campaign and fight the conviction, presumably through appeal.
Editorial Note: My wife Melissa is an employee of CH2M Hill, which acquired VECO in September 2007. The alleged incidents occurred before the acquisition, and Melissa works in a different operating division of the company.