The judge who presided over the ethics trial of former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens has called for a special hearing Friday to determine whether a new trial is in order after an FBI agent’s revelations that another agent improperly concealed evidence from both the court and Stevens’ defense team.
The complaint, from agent Chad Joy, maintains that the prosecution’s star witness, Bill Allen, a wealthy oil magnate who paid for the renovations to Stevens' home, had an inappropriate relationship with Joy’s FBI colleague, Mary Beth Kepner, who also worked on the Stevens investigation.
“I have witnessed or learned of serious violations of policy, rules, and procedures as well as possible criminal violations,” Joy wrote in an affidavit that is now part of the court file.
Joy’s complaint was sent to the Justice Department as part of a procedure to obtain whistle-blower status that would protect him against job-related retaliation, the New York Times reports. Kepner and Joy continue to work together in the Anchorage FBI office.
Federal District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan will hear the complaint to determine whether any misconduct or unusual post-trial activity occurred between agent Kepner and Allen. The allegation is yet another in a series of prosecutorial errors and missteps that have surrounded the case against Stevens, a Republican who lost his re-election bid in November.
The defense team for Stevens contends an improper sexual relationship took place between Allen and Kepner, citing Kepner was seen improperly going alone to Allen’s hotel room.
Stevens, 85, is awaiting sentencing after his conviction on seven felony counts of failing to include on Senate financial-disclosure forms more than $250,000 in gifts and renovations to his Girdwood, Alaska, home, including those from Allen.
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