Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has given up his vice chairman post on the Commerce Committee following federal charges of making false statements about his financial disclosure forms. Stevens, who chaired the committee following John McCain’s departure from that position, says he is not guilty and will fight the charges.
The Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over communications legislation.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, was named as ranking Republican on the committee after a meeting of the Senate Republican Conference. She said she is stepping in temporarily. “Ted served our country heroically in World War II and is a tireless advocate for his state. I have every expectation that Senator Stevens will return to his role as ranking member in the future.”
According to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, a seven-count indictment charges Stevens, the former chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, with concealing his receipt of more than $250,000 in things of value from VECO Corp., formerly a oil services company in Alaska, and former company CEO Bill Allen.
It states Stevens concealed these things of value from his publicly filed U. S. Senate financial disclosure forms for eight years. Stevens allegedly received substantial home improvements and new vehicles and is charged with using his position and office on behalf of VECO.
To date, there have been seven criminal convictions arising out of the ongoing probe, investigated by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division.