With his delays exhausted, Bill Allen, the central figure in Alaska's public corruption scandal, is due to be sentenced this morning on bribery, conspiracy and tax charges.
Allen, 72, once ran the leading oil-field business in Alaska, Veco Corp. He used that position and his wealth to help elect politicians and keep them on his side whenever issues important to him — oil taxes, resource development and labor matters — arose in the state Legislature.
But court-ordered wiretaps and a tiny FBI camera in his hotel suite in Juneau laid bare his efforts to go beyond verbal persuasion by giving cash, jobs, vehicles and other illegal benefits to elected officials.
Five state legislators and U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens were charged with crimes related to their dealings with Allen. Three were convicted by juries, two pleaded guilty and one is awaiting trial. Stevens, one of those convicted, was freed when a judge said prosecutors engaged in misconduct in his trial.
Whatever punishment he and a former Veco vice president, Rick Smith, will receive in the federal courtroom of District Judge John Sedwick will be tempered by their extensive cooperation with prosecutors and the FBI. In 2007, when Allen testified against one of the legislators he bribed, former Rep. Pete Kott of Eagle River, he said he expected to get 10 to 11 years in prison.
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