- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2007

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The former head of an oil field services company said yesterday that he had employees work for several months on remodeling the home of Republican Sen. Ted Stevens.

Ex-VECO Corp. CEO Bill Allen discussed the work while testifying in the corruption trial of former state House Speaker Pete Kott.

Allen and former VECO Vice President Rick Smith pleaded guilty in May to extortion, conspiracy and bribery of legislators.

Under cross-examination by Mr. Kott’s defense attorney, James Wendt, Allen acknowledged that the more than $400,000 he admitted spending in the bribery charge was for other legislators — and for work done at Mr. Stevens’ home in Girdwood.

“I don’t think there was a lot of materials,” Allen said. “There was some labor.”

The workers were VECO employees, probably one to four at a time, Allen said. He estimated the work might have taken as much as six months.

The remodeling work in 2000 more than doubled the size of the house, a four-bedroom structure that is Mr. Stevens’ official residence in Alaska.

Mr. Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate, said while contracting bills were first sent to VECO for accuracy checks, he paid for the work.

A message left yesterday at Mr. Stevens’ office in Washington was not immediately returned.

Allen said he also gave Mr. Stevens some old, used furniture, and Allen visited the site every month or two. “Most of the time I was gone with VECO business,” Allen said.

Allen said the company paid $4,000 per month to Mr. Stevens’ son, Ben, whom Allen hired as a consultant in 1995. The consulting work continued after Ben Stevens was appointed to the Alaska state Senate in 2002.

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