SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Murkowski Calls for Independent Investigation on Allen Case
Senator: 15 Months of 'Raising Hell' Has Not Brought Closure


November 28, 2011
Monday PM

(SitNews) WASHINGTON, D.C. –Senator Lisa Murkowski announced today that she has contacted the US Department of Justice (DOJ), calling for an “objective, thorough and independent investigation” to determine why the federal government is declining to prosecute former VECO CEO Bill Allen over allegations he transported Paula Roberds across state lines for immoral and exploitive purposes. In a letter, Murkowski also asked two DOJ independent investigating offices to look into why the Justice Department halted the State of Alaska’s efforts to prosecute Allen for violations of Federal law.

In March 2011, Murkowski questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about the Allen matter when he appeared before a subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee. As he had done in the past, AG Holder declined to provide specifics but firmly asserted, “If a case can be made, a case will be brought.” (Video below) That statement conflicts with reports in the media from DOJ officials to the Alaska Attorney General’s office that Allen would not be prosecuted in the Roberds matter because he “had been convicted and sentenced on another crime.” Bill Allen was the government's key witness in the public corruption probe against the late U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and former Alaska legislators.

In a letter to the Acting Inspector General and the Counsel for Professional Responsibility, the Senator wrote she is “no longer able to defer to the Attorney General’s representation that the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Mr. Allen on charges involving Ms. Roberds was firmly rooted in the Principles of Federal Prosecution.”

Senator Murkowski alluded to this in her letter, adding “I would like to believe that Department of Justice personnel followed applicable laws and departmental policies in its handling of the sex abuse allegations against Mr. Allen, just as US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan expected the Justice Department would follow the law in its decisions whether to release potentially exculpatory evidence to Senator Stevens’ defense team. However, we now know that the Justice Department did not live up to its solemn constitutional responsibilities in the Stevens prosecution.”

Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Bill Allen, who was convicted of bribery and related tax charges, was scheduled for release this month. He has been at a halfway house in New Mexico.

On May 7, 2007 Allen, along with VECO's Vice President for Community & Government Affairs Rick Smith, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Anchorage to charges of extortion, bribery, and conspiracy to impede the Internal Revenue Service. The charges involved bribing Alaska lawmakers to vote in favor of an oil tax law favored by the VECO that was the subject of vigorous debate during the regular and two special sessions of the Alaska Legislature in 2006.

Allen purchased the Anchorage Times from editor/publisher Robert Atwood. Allen operated the newspaper until shutting it down and selling many of its assets to its rival, the Anchorage Daily News, in 1992. Through an agreement described as "unique," Allen paid for space in the editorial section of the ADN for many years afterward to provide a half-page feature known as The Voice of the Times.


On March 10, 2011, Sen. Murkowski questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about the Department of Justice's failure to prosecute Bill Allen on sex charges.


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews



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