Two VECO employees shed new light on who was behind the idea to renovate the home of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), the Anchorage Daily News reported yesterday.
The two employees, David Anderson, the nephew of former VECO CEO Bill Allen, and Robert "Rocky" Williams, a trusted VECO worker, told the ADN that they met with Allen over drinks at the Alyeska Prince Hotel in the spring of 1999 or 2000. It was during this meeting that the three men first discussed plans to renovate the Stevens' home.
Anderson, who had a falling out with Allen over the construction and once claimed that his uncle threatened his life, told the ADN that there were numerous projects that Stevens was not billed for -- and Anderson would know, since he handled the billing:
Among the electricians' tasks was to wire up a switch for a generator that would automatically turn on whenever the power went out, Anderson said. Allen told him to buy an oversized power plant to install in the back yard. It was so heavy that Anderson had to order in a Veco crane from the shop to lift it over the garage from the driveway and set it in place in the back.It was another gift that Stevens got for free, Anderson said. "I know, because I ran the paperwork -- I did all the purchase orders."
The generator is not mentioned in the indictment.
Anderson and Williams worked closely with Stevens' wife, Catherine Stevens, who had a say over much of the renovations:
Williams said Catherine Stevens wanted to put her touch on the place, which she and Stevens had bought as a 12-year-old house in 1983."So she picked out the carpet, she picked out the tile," Williams said. "She made it her place and that was what Ted wanted . . ."
In addition to shedding light on the work done to the Stevens' home, the ADN also speculates about the likely identities of two of the three anonymous parties in the Stevens' indictment, stating that Person A is Bob Persons, a local business owner who diligently oversaw the renovations, and Company A is Christensen Builders, a local construction company owned by Augie Paone, already known to have done work on the Girdwood chalet.
Anderson initially told the ADN that the "at least some" of the costs for the renovation were passed on to VECO clients, like "BP Exploration." Late yesterday, ADN ran a second story, saying that Anderson backed away from those statements.