Judge Tosses Long-Standing Motion to Dismiss Stevens Case

Posted March 10, 2009 at 11:32am

Federal District Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected a months-old motion to dismiss the corruption case against ex-Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) in a Tuesday morning status conference.

In October, Stevens’ legal team filed the motion, arguing that records of VECO — the oil company that provided renovations to Stevens’ home — that were used in the trial were false. During the trial, Sullivan struck those records from the evidence, but on Tuesday he denied both the defense’s motion to dismiss and the prosecution’s subsequent motion to strike it from the transcript, noting that much of the information in question had already been discussed in court.

That motion was just one of many ups and downs in the trial, as the defense has repeatedly asked for dismissals following miscues from the prosecution. Most recently, the four original prosecutors were charged with contempt of court and were removed from the case in mid-February.

Paul O’Brien, David Jaffe and William Stuckwisch represented the government for the first time at the status hearing. O’Brien told Sullivan that the government is still interviewing witnesses about the complaint of FBI agent Chad Joy, who has alleged misbehavior among other investigators on the Stevens case, including that one FBI agent had a personal relationship with a central witness.

Sullivan granted the prosecution more time to continue interviewing witnesses but asked that they provide reports from those interviews to the court and the defense prior to the next hearing. Sullivan set an April 9 deadline for the prosecution to report, with the defense filing its response on April 14, and both parties will reconvene in court on April 15.

The Stevens trial began with jury selection in September, and in October, following six weeks in court, the Alaska Senator was found guilty of seven counts of filing false financial statements. He lost his re-election bid in November.