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September 24, 2009

Below-guideline sentence for corrupt Alaska state representative

As detailed in this local article from Alaska, which is headlined "Former Alaska rep gets 6 months in state's bribery scandal," another high-profile white-collar offender has received another high-profile below-guideline federal sentence.  Here are the details:

Former state Rep. Beverly Masek was sentenced to six months in federal prison today for her part in the Alaska political corruption scandal, a lenient punishment that sliced a year from the minimum confinement recommended by federal guidelines.

U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline said Masek betrayed the public trust and the oath of office she took five times in Juneau -- one for each of the two-year terms she served representing the Willow area in the Legislature.  Masek admitted taking two illegal payments in 2003 of $2,000 each from former Veco Corp. chief executive Bill Allen, the second time in payment for spiking an oil-tax bill. Allen, an oil-field contractor, was concerned that the tax bill would hurt his clients.

In delivering a sentence substantially below the 18- to 24-month recommendation in federal guidelines, Beistline cited the long delay between the commission of the crime and its prosecution by federal authorities, who didn't charge Masek until March.  She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery.

Masek, 45, a former Iditarod musher, cried throughout the 80-minute hearing, including when she promised to obtain sobriety treatment after her prison sentence.  "I feel I've been operating on a broken sled runner," Masek said, recalling her days has a dog musher. "I feel I've been on that broken sled runner for quite a while. I'd really like to fix it."

September 24, 2009 at 09:32 PM | Permalink


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I would like to see the wording of the oath of office. If it does not have anything to do with the crime, then why cite it in a sentencing? If she took the oath five times then it must have expired each time a term ended. So she only violated it once--during the term in which she took the bribe. Max Baucus reportedly has received over $4M from the health care industry in campaign contributions. It seems like he spiked my public option. I would like to see the oath which he takes each term of office.

I am not sure that the dog musher has committed a crime.

Posted by: mpb | Sep 25, 2009 5:45:00 PM

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