by Jill Burke
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Federal prosecutors portrayed Sen. Ted Stevens as a crafty, deceitful and penny-pinching politician during their closing arguments Tuesday in Stevens' trial for allegedly lying on Senate disclosure forms.
The prosecution urged jurors to find Stevens guilty and spoke about how the senator's work to conceal smaller gifts -- such as puppies, gas grills and a generator -- set a pattern for how far Stevens would be willing to go to conceal much more expensive free work on his Girdwood home.
The basis of the government's case is that Stevens knowingly failed to report hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts and home remodeling from VECO Corporation and the company's CEO Bill Allen, once a good friend of the Stevens family.
The defense called Stevens an innocent and decent man, and refuted Allen's earlier testimony.
"Some master cover-up by some sinister senator? That's sick," said defense attorney Brendan Sullivan. "That's not real life. That's not the way things are."