Monday, June 15, 2009

Another Delay, and More Juicy Stuff on Life in Stir


Beverly Masek’s lawyer has asked for another delay of her sentencing, currently scheduled for next week. Her attorney says that she needs time to go through psychiatric evaluation and substance abuse treatment.

Masek, formerly a Republican State Representative representing Willow and environs, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to take bribes from long-time VECO CEO Bill Allen and a relative of Allen's (apparently Bill Allen's son Mark Allen, co-owner of Kentucky Derby champion Mine That Bird). Masek's quid pro quo for the bribes was her willingness to pull back an oil tax bill she had introduced that was disliked by VECO’s clients in the oil industry.

The prosecution is not opposing the request for a delay, which might put the sentencing off until September. At this point—after the embarrassing revelations about evidence-sharing failures by prosecutors that wiped out Ted Stevens’ convictions and led to the interim release of former State Reps. Pete Kott and Vic Kohring—the government lawyers are probably just happy that the defense is not seeking to withdraw former State Rep. Masek’s plea based on allegations that the prosecution has committed discovery violations.

Speaking of Kohring, the Anchorage Daily News continues to cover his release like the morning dew covers the ground. The latest installment was headlined “Despite his lockup, Kohring still supports private prisons,” and the story in yesterday’s edition carried a subhead that is either cheering or scary: “REFORM: If the freed ex-legislator ever gets re-elected, he says he would work to improve conditions.” That article was by Richard Mauer, and he and his colleagues Lisa Demer and Sean Cockerham have done a solid job chronicling all this tale’s shocking twists and funny angles. (Well-known as a big eater, Kohring said he lost 47 pounds in prison and made a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet his first stop when he got on the ground in Alaska.)

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