ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The top officer of an oil field services company pleaded guilty Monday to bribing Alaska lawmakers.
Bill J. Allen, chief executive of Anchorage-based VECO Corp., entered his plea in U.S. District Court to several counts including conspiracy and bribery, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Allen's plea came three days after federal prosecutors indicted one current and two former members of the Alaska House of Representatives on bribery and extortion charges related to last year's negotiations for a new oil and gas tax and a proposed natural gas pipeline.
Allen's lawyer, Robert Bundy, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
The three lawmakers — Rep. Victor Kohring of Wasilla and former Reps. Pete Kott of Eagle River and Bruce Weyhrauch of Juneau — pleaded not guilty Friday.
Kott is accused of accepting $8,993 in payments, $2,750 in polling expenses and the promise of a future contract as a lobbyist for VECO in exchange for his support of the proposed pipeline and a tax proposal that favored VECO, according to court documents.
The tax passed, but the contract for the pipeline negotiated by former Gov. Frank Murkowski was never approved.
The indictment did not name the company, but an attorney for VECO Corp. said it was the company involved.
Kohring is accused of demanding and accepting up to $2,600 in cash and a $3,000 job for a relative from VECO executives in exchange for his support. The indictment also alleges Kohring sought but did not receive a $17,000 loan for credit card debt.
Weyhrauch, a 54-year-old lawyer, is charged with helping advance the oil service company's causes in exchange for the promise of future legal work, the indictment said.
Amy Menard, an attorney representing VECO in the investigation, told The Associated Press that the Anchorage-based corporation had turned over more than 100,000 pages of documents to the government.
Sick 'em Max!!! GRRRRRRRR!!! :mad: