Lawmaker Ted Stevens' Home Searched by Agents

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

On Monday, federal agents reportedly searched the home of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), just outside Anchorage. The subject of the probe is a 2000 renovation job that was overseen by an executive from a prominent local oil services company.


From the studios of NPR West, this is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Chadwick.


And I'm Alex Cohen.

Coming up, the benefits of living near a nuclear power plant.

CHADWICK: First, the lead. Just outside Anchorage, Alaska - this was yesterday - federal agents raided the home of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens. He is a giant of Alaskan politics, the longest serving Republican in the Senate.

NPR's Martin Kaste reports the search was a sign that he's now targeted for a federal corruption investigation.

MARTIN KASTE: Girdwood is a woodsy little community about an hour southeast of Anchorage. And it's not every day that the locals see teams of FBI and IRS agents swooping in. So when the feds showed up in Senator Stevens' driveway yesterday morning, it got this neighbor's attention.

Unidentified Man: When they first got here, they tried all the doors and the windows. They went up on the deck and around the building, and looked and then couldn't get in and then called a locksmith.

KASTE: Stevens wasn't home. And the feds spent the day taking pictures and videos of his house and its amenities. The FBI won't say what it was after, but a grand jury has been looking into a renovation job back in 2000 that doubled the size of the house. Construction was reportedly overseen by an executive from a prominent local oil services company called Veco. And the question now is who paid the bills?

Two weeks ago, Senator Stevens talked about the case with reporters over the objections of his lawyers.

Senator TED STEVENS (Republican, Alaska): They told me not to answer any questions. As a practical matter I will tell you we paid every bill that was given to us. Every bill that was presented to us has been paid, personally, with our own money. And that's all there is to it.

KASTE: But in Alaska these days, any past connection to Veco is potentially toxic. That's because two of the company's former top executives have pleaded guilty to bribing elected officials and they're now cooperating with investigators. Three former state legislators have already been charged with corruption. And the feds now seem to be working their way up the chain to Alaska's members of Congress.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Alaska's lone representative in the House, Don Young, is also being investigated for his ties to Veco. If that's confirmed, it would mean two-thirds of Alaska's congressional delegation may face charges for taking illegal contributions from the oil industry.

Mr. JAKE METCALFE (Former Chairman, Alaska Democratic Party): Oh, yeah. There's an opportunity here.

KASTE: Jake Metcalfe is a prominent figure in the Alaska Democratic Party, which hasn't won a congressional election since the 1970s. But he says these investigations are about to change all that.

Mr. METCALFE: I think people are sick of it. They, I think, in the end, are going to clean the house, both in the legislature and in the congressional delegation, and they simply - enough is enough.

KASTE: Metcalfe clearly likes the Democrats' chances. Shortly after this interview, he stepped down as party chair and declared himself a candidate, challenging Don Young, who's been in Congress since 1973. They've already set up a Web site focusing on Don Young.

(Soundbite of construction noise)

KASTE: A noisy Web site, it's called And it invites visitors to explore what it calls the Don Young web of corruption. It goes beyond the Veco case, offering details of Young's alleged links to Jack Abramoff and other bad boys. The Republican chairman in Alaska, Randy Ruedrich, says the Democrats are just trading in one-sided allegations. And he says they won't be able to ride the corruption issue to victory.

Mr. RANDY RUEDRICH (Alaska GOP Chairman): The current state registration advantage of the Republican Party over the Democrat Party is approximately 60 percent. As long as we have a candidate that they can relate to, I think we will do quite well.

KASTE: And in fact, at least one Republican has benefited from the growing concern over corruption. Governor Sarah Palin was elected last year after she challenged her own party's incumbent governor - on the issue of ethics.

Martin Kaste, NPR News.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

FBI Searches Home of Alaska's Sen. Stevens

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Federal agents photographed the home of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens during a search related to a public corruption probe, law enforcement officials said.

Stevens, 83, an Alaska Republican, is under a federal investigation for his relationship with Bill Allen, an oil field services contractor who was convicted this year of bribing state lawmakers.

A renovation project in 2000 that more than doubled the size of Stevens' home in the ski resort community of Girdwood was overseen by Allen, who is founder of VECO Corp. The Alaska-based oil field services and engineering company has reaped tens of millions of dollars in federal contracts.

Agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service started their search of the senator's home Monday afternoon, Dave Heller, FBI assistant special agent, told The Associated Press. He said he could not comment on the nature of the investigation.

About 15 agents took photos and video of various angles of the structure, climbing onto the roof at one point, and eventually entered. They later carried out a garbage bag full of unidentifiable materials and loaded it into an unmarked white van.

The curtains were drawn during most of the search.

A law enforcement official familiar with the case confirmed that the raid on Stevens' home was focused on records related to the ongoing VECO investigation. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

An e-mail statement issued by Stevens through his Washington, D.C., spokesman said federal agents had alerted his attorneys that they wanted to search his home.

Stevens, who has been in office since 1968 and is among the longest-serving senators in history, said the interests of justice would be best served if he commented after the investigation.

"I continue to believe this investigation should proceed to its conclusion without any appearance that I have attempted to influence its outcome," Stevens said. "The legal process should be allowed to proceed so that all the facts can be established and the truth determined."

Located 40 miles south of Anchorage, Girdwood is nestled in a valley next to Mount Alyeska and has evolved from a gold mining town into Alaska's only year-round resort community.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from