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Legal Ethics

DOJ Racks Up $1.8M Bill Defending Prosecutors in Botched Corruption Case Against Sen. Stevens

Posted Feb 3, 2012 6:46 AM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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The Justice Department has spent nearly $1.8 million defending prosecutors accused of breaking the law during a failed corruption case against former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

The government's case against the senator crumbled three years ago when the DOJ acknowledged attorneys had concealed evidence that could have helped the defense, USA Today reports.

In November, a court-ordered investigation concluded there was intentional misconduct by prosecutors, but said no criminal contempt-of-court charges should be filed.

To tabulate the costs of defending those prosecutors, USA Today examined records obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request. The records show that the DOJ has paid about $1.6 million since 2009 to private lawyers representing the six prosecutors who were investigated. There was an additional $208,000 paid to defend three prosecutors from a separate civil contempt of court finding, USA Today reports.

The prosecutor of Sen. Stevens, who died in a 2010 plane crash, involved allegations he violated federal ethics laws by failing to disclose $250,000 in gifts.

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