Stevens: I am ‘Innocent’

HarpBlaster.com News Wire

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2008 — Sen. Ted Stevens said today he is “innocent” of federal charges that allege he lied on financial disclosure forms.

Stevens, R-Alaska, was charged today in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia with seven counts of making false statements related to Stevens’ financial disclosure forms.

“I have proudly served this nation and Alaska for over 50 years,” Stevens said in a statement. “My public service began when I served in World War II. It saddens me to learn that these charges have been brought against me. I have never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. Senator.

“In accordance with Senate Republican Conference rules, I have temporarily relinquished my vice-chairmanship and ranking positions until I am absolved of these charges,” the senator added. “The impact of these charges on my family disturbs me greatly. I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that.”

The seven-count indictment charges Stevens, the former chairperson of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, with engaging in a nearly eight-year scheme to conceal his receipt of more than $250,000 in things of value from VECO Corporation, formerly a multi-national oil services company based in Alaska, and Bill J. Allen, the Chief Executive Officer of VECO at the time.

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