Politics & Government

No booze for ex-Alaska state Rep. Masek as she awaits sentencing

A federal judge granted former state Rep. Bev Masek a one-week delay in her sentencing on corruption charges Thursday even as he admonished her for twice violating the terms of her pre-sentencing release by getting drunk.

Masek is one of four defendants in the wide-ranging federal corruption investigation in Alaska still awaiting sentencing. The other three have so far avoided prison by providing evidence to the FBI and agreeing to testify in other cases, but the government doesn't need Masek as a witness, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Free on a $5,000 unsecured bond, Masek has been "messing up," U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said at a status hearing in Anchorage. "I'm not happy about that," the judge said.

Beistline said Masek's initial terms of release, allowing her to drink in moderation, weren't working.

"What are we going to do with her between now and her sentencing to make sure she doesn't get drunk again?" Beistline asked. "I haven't a simple solution."

But Beistline answered his own question when he granted Masek a sentencing reprieve until Sept. 24 — still more than a month sooner than the late October date Masek had sought in a motion filed last week.

The judge stiffened release conditions in effect since Masek pleaded guilty in March by ordering her to live with her parents in Anchorage and to not touch a drop of alcohol. And he packed some punch in that order, directing officers from the federal probation and pretrial service to test her for booze as often as daily and authorizing them to immediately throw her in jail if she showed so much as a trace of alcohol in her system — or if she refused to submit to testing.

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