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HJR 15: Denouncing the decision to reverse the suspensions of the federal prosecutors who intentionally withheld evidence of innocence from the defense of Senator Ted Stevens; and honoring the service of Senator Ted Stevens.

00                       HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 15                                                                     
01 Denouncing the decision to reverse the suspensions of the federal prosecutors who                                       
02 intentionally withheld evidence of innocence from the defense of Senator Ted Stevens;                                   
03 and honoring the service of Senator Ted Stevens.                                                                        
04 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
05       WHEREAS Theodore Fulton "Ted" Stevens, Sr., honorably served Alaska as a                                      
06 United States senator from December 24, 1968, until January 3, 2009; and                                              
07       WHEREAS Senator Stevens served longer than any senator of his party in United                                   
08 States history; and                                                                                                     
09       WHEREAS Senator Stevens was instrumental in crafting key federal legislation that                               
10 has immensely benefited Alaska, including, but certainly not limited to, the Alaska Native                            
11 Claims Settlement Act, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act, and the Magnuson-                                 
12 Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act; and                                                                    
13       WHEREAS Senator Stevens was President pro tempore of the United States Senate                                   
14 from 2003 to 2007 and was President pro tempore emeritus of the United States Senate from                               
15 2007 to 2009; and                                                                                                       
01       WHEREAS Senator Stevens served in the Alaska House of Representatives from                                      
02 1965 to 1968, serving as House Majority Leader during his second term; and                                              
03       WHEREAS Senator Stevens was indicted on July 29, 2008, for allegedly failing to                                 
04 disclose as a gift the value of renovations to his cabin in Girdwood, Alaska; and                                     
05       WHEREAS Senator Stevens pled not guilty to the charges in United States District                              
06 Court on July 31, 2008; and                                                                                           
07       WHEREAS evidence presented at trial showed that Senator Stevens paid all bills for                            
08 work presented to him, and that he actually paid more than the renovations were worth; and                              
09       WHEREAS, after a trial, United States Attorney General Eric Holder asked that the                           
10 verdict of the jury be set aside after it was discovered that federal prosecutors unlawfully                            
11 withheld critical, exonerating evidence from the defense; and                                                         
12       WHEREAS, on April 7, 2009, United States District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan                                     
13 granted the motion filed by the United States to set aside the verdict and dismiss the                                
14 indictment; the dismissal order includes the statement: "There was never a judgment of                                
15 conviction in this case. The jury's verdict is being set aside and has no legal effect."; and                           
16       WHEREAS Judge Sullivan appointed a special counsel to investigate the prosecutors,                            
17 and the special counsel's 2011 report on the case stated: "The investigation and prosecution of                         
18 United States Senator Ted Stevens were permeated by the systematic concealment of                                       
19 significant exculpatory evidence which would have independently corroborated Senator                                    
20 Stevens's defense and his testimony, and seriously damaged the testimony and credibility of                             
21 the government's key witness."; and                                                                                     
22       WHEREAS, on May 23, 2012, United States Associate Deputy Attorney General                                       
23 Scott N. Schools issued a final decision approving the disciplinary action proposed by Kevin                            
24 Ohlson, chief of the Professional Misconduct Review Unit, that federal prosecutor Joseph                                
25 Bottini be suspended for 45 days and federal prosecutor James Goeke be suspended for 15                                 
26 days; and                                                                                                               
27       WHEREAS, on January 2, 2015, the United States Merit Systems Protection Board                                   
28 upheld a 2013 ruling by an administrative judge finding that the United States Department of                            
29 Justice violated its own rules when it suspended prosecutors Joseph Bottini and James Goeke;                            
30       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature supports the full and fair                                     
31 exoneration of Senator Ted Stevens; and be it                                                                           
01       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature denounces the decision to                                    
02 reverse the suspensions of the federal prosecutors who intentionally withheld evidence from                             
03 the defense of Senator Ted Stevens; and be it                                                                           
04       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests that                                   
05 the Alaska Bar Association determine whether any of the prosecutors involved in the Stevens                             
06 case violated the Alaska Rules of Professional Conduct; and be it                                                       
07       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature recognizes and honors the                                    
08 long and distinguished leadership of Senator Ted Stevens on many issues that the state still                            
09 faces today, including access to federal land for oil, gas, and mineral development, the role of                        
10 Alaska in the nation's defense, and the need for adequate federal services for Alaskans and                             
11 others, and the legislature recognizes that Senator Ted Stevens's record and papers provide                             
12 insight and guidance into how the state can address those issues; and be it                                             
13       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature honors the importance of                                     
14 Senator Ted Stevens's service and legacy as a vital part of the history of Alaska.                                      
15       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of                             
16 the United States; the Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vice-President of the United States and                          
17 President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the                                
18 United States; the Honorable Susan Tsui Grundmann, Chair of the U.S. Merit Systems                                      
19 Protection Board; Loretta Lynch, nominee for Attorney General of the United States; Geoffry                             
20 B. Wildridge, President of the Alaska Bar Association; and the Honorable Lisa Murkowski                                 
21 and the Honorable Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S.                                        
22 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.