Ben Stevens, the former Alaska Senate president once investigated for corruption by federal authorities, has landed a job in Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration.
Stevens will work as one of Dunleavy’s three policy advisors, focusing on transportation, legislation and fishing, a spokesman for Dunleavy, Jeff Turner, said in an email.
Stevens didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Stevens is one of three sons of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. Ben Stevens spent five years in the state Senate after Gov. Tony Knowles appointed him to an open seat in 2001; he ran unopposed in 2002, then didn’t seek re-election in 2006 amid the federal corruption investigation.
The FBI raided Stevens’ offices in the summer of 2006, as well those of at least five other state legislators.
Attention on Stevens focused on consulting work he said he did for oil-field services company Veco, while he was serving in the Senate. The payments totaled more than $240,000 over five years, and Stevens never said exactly what he did to earn the money.
At the trial of a different state lawmaker in 2007, a Veco executive said on the witness stand that he had bribed Stevens and another senator, John Cowdery. But prosecutors never charged Stevens with a crime, and he always denied wrongdoing.
Last year Stevens said he was considering running in the Republican Party primary for governor, though he never entered the race. He’s been working as president of Cook Inlet Tug and Barge, which operates from the Aleutians to Southeast Alaska.
As a consultant earlier in his career, many of Stevens’ clients came from the fishing industry. They included fish processors, a group of crab processors and an organization representing Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska pollock trawlers.
- But the senator is worried about where the money will be diverted from. “I would have concerns, particularly if it’s coming out of Alaska military construction, which is not only important for our state,” Sullivan says. “It’s really important for the national security of our country.”
- The Alaska Marine Highway System has stopped selling tickets past September. That's in anticipation to deep cuts that could be fatal to the state ferry network.
- In a major development, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the draft environmental impact statement for the proposed Pebble Mine on Wednesday.
- Three people were seriously hurt and four vehicles demolished in a five-car wrong-way crash on the highway between downtown Juneau and the Mendenhall Valley.