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Mar 10,2009
Ex-Alaska senator sentenced for conspiracy
by UPI

WASHINGTON - A former Alaska state senator was sentenced on a corruption charge for conspiring to bribe another state legislator, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

A U.S. district judge sentenced John Cowdery to three years of probation, including six months of home confinement, and ordered him to pay a $25,000 fine, the department said in a release in Washington.

Cowdery pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, the department said. He admitted he conspired with the executive officers of the now-defunct VECO Corp. to offer more than $10,000 in purported campaign contributions to a state senator for the senator's support in a proposed petroleum profits tax. The senator did not accept the funds.

VECO and its officials also were involved in the federal corruption case against former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Rita Glavin of the Criminal Division said Cowdery's guilty plea and those of the VECO officials bring to 10 the number of criminal convictions so far in an ongoing investigation into public corruption in the state of Alaska.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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