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Taxpayers Dish Out Nearly $1.8 Million to Defend Lawyers in Failed Prosecution of Late Ted Stevens

Ex-Sen. Ted Stevens

Brad Heath
USA Today

WASHINGTON – The federal government has spent nearly $1.8 million defending prosecutors from allegations they broke the law in the botched corruption case against former Alaska senator Ted Stevens, Justice Department records show.

The case against Stevens fell apart three years ago when the Justice Department admitted its attorneys had improperly concealed evidence that could have helped his defense. A court-ordered investigation concluded in November that prosecutors had engaged in “significant, widespread, and at times intentional misconduct,” but that they should not face criminal contempt-of-court charges.

Records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the department has paid about $1.6 million since 2009 to private lawyers representing the six prosecutors targeted by that court investigation. It also paid $208,000 to defend three prosecutors from a separate finding that they had committed civil contempt of court.

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