Friend of Stevens Bullied Contractor Into Eating $13K Bill
'Think of it as a political contribution,' pal said
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2008 1:31 PM CDT
Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and his daughters Beth Stevens, left, and Susan Covich arrive at federal court in Washington today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An Alaska oil exec told a carpenter working on renovations to Sen. Ted Stevens home that he would have to “eat” a final $13,393 bill, the Anchorage Daily News reports. The carpenter, Augie Paone, took the stand in Stevens’ corruption trial today in Washington, telling the court that Bill Allen said he should look at the bill “as a political contribution.”

The defense used Paone to try to illustrate that Allen had hid the real cost of the renovations from Stevens, who paid every bill he received. But Paone also testified that he had returned to work on Stevens’ home months after the initial renovations, and never billed the Republican. He was instead reimbursed by Veco, Allen’s oil-services company.