Politics & Government

Ex-Alaska state Rep. Masek to plead guilty

Former state Rep. Beverly Masek has agreed to plead guilty Thursday to conspiring to receive a bribe, according to documents filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage.

Masek, a Republican from Willow who represented the Matanuska-Susitna area between 1995 and 2004, was accused by the Justice Department of accepting at least $4,000 from former Veco Corp. chief executive Bill Allen in 2003.

In return for the money, she killed an oil tax bill she herself had introduced. Allen told her that the bill was "harmful" to his oil industry clients, according to the charges.

Masek is scheduled to enter her guilty plea this morning before U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline. She is being represented by the federal public defender.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit bribery is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. But under the plea deal filed with the charges, she would face a sentence of 18 to 24 months and a fine of $4,000 to $40,000.

Prosecutors wrote that they expect Masek to plead for a further reduction in her sentence, citing "alcoholism, financial and emotional distress, and/or situational depression due to her divorce."

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