An Alaska lawmaker and two of his former colleagues were arrested on Friday for allegedly soliciting and accepting bribes from VECO Corp., a private oil services company, to pass a new oil-tax system, officials said.
The three, Rep. Vic Kohring of Wasilla, former state House Speaker Rep. Pete Kott of Eagle River and former state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch of Juneau, were among six legislators whose offices were raided and searched by the FBI last August and September.
Those lawmakers included former Senate President Ben Stevens, the son of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens.
Kohring, Kott and Weyhrauch, all Republicans, are charged with conspiring with the oil-field-services company in exchange for supporting a pro-industry version of a controversial bill that changed Alaska’s oil production tax into a levy on the profits a company made in Alaska.
“These two indictments allege that the defendants sold their offices in Alaska’s State House to an influential energy company in exchange for cash payments, loans, jobs for relatives and the promise of future employment,” Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher said in a news release.
The FBI’s spokesman in Alaska, Eric Gonzalez, said the investigation was ongoing, but would not comment on whether more arrests were coming.
The indictments were issued on Tuesday and Thursday by federal grand jurors in Anchorage.