Witness Details Work Done on Stevens’ Home

Posted October 9, 2008 at 11:45am

A former welder for the now-defunct Alaskan oil services firm VECO testified Thursday that he spent hundreds of hours on company time making major renovations to Sen. Ted Stevens’ home during 2001 and 2002.

Dave Anderson, the final prosecution witness in the criminal trial of the Alaskan Republican, told the jury that he worked 10-hour days, six days a week, at $28 to $30 at Stevens’ house, using materials that were either provided directly from VECO or bought from suppliers using VECO purchase orders.

Anderson walked the jury through a range of projects that he and other VECO employees worked on at Stevens’ house, including: jacking up the house to add a new first floor; excavating soil and pouring a new concrete pad for a garage; building steel pillars to hold up a new second-floor deck; installing an exterior steel staircase to access the deck; installing a metal balcony and folding fire escape ladder on the side of the house; installing electrical boxes and cables; and stringing heavy-duty lights up a 70-foot tree for Christmas.

The government alleges that Stevens knew VECO was doing this work at his house, but he never paid the company for it and never declared it as a gift on his annual financial disclosure forms. The government has alleged that the company spent about $188,000 on the house that was never repaid by Stevens.

Anderson said he met Stevens on several occasions, but he repeatedly stated that “he wasn’t there very often.”

The prosecution had prepared to rest its case Wednesday, but Judge Emmet Sullivan allowed the government to call Anderson on Thursday after striking evidence the government had previously entered regarding Anderson’s hours at the site.

The judge on Wednesday had berated the prosecution for introducing into evidence billing records that indicated Anderson and his co-worker Rocky Williams were working on Stevens’ house at the company’s expense in late 2000 and early 2001. Anderson had previously told the grand jury that he was not in Alaska at the time and the billing records were incorrect; the government had known about this testimony but had not informed the defense prior to trial.

The defense chose not to cross-examine Anderson, and the prosecution rested its case.