Mystery Solved?

How do you remodel a chalet in Alaska for $130,000 when the carpentry bill alone was over $100,000, and you doubled the size of the home, complete with raising up the entire house to add a new first floor, replacing the roof, plus plumbing, design, and electrical work?
Original DVD cover.
(If you are curious, Senator Stevens is holding his favorite album, Tubular Bells.)

From the Anchorage Daily News:

FBI agents earlier this week retrieved a handwritten note by U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens to former U.S. Attorney Wev Shea in which Stevens said he and his wife paid “over $130,000” for the Veco-supervised renovations to their home in Girdwood.

The amount described in the note, dated June 7, is the only time Stevens is known to have put a figure on his out-of-pocket costs for the 2000 addition, which more than doubled the size of the house. Stevens told reporters last month that he paid every bill he received, leaving open the possibility that he wasn’t billed for all the work. He has declined to answer any more questions.


The carpentry contractor alone said he was paid more than $100,000 by Stevens. Another contractor, who raised up the house to make room for the new first floor and built part of the foundation, said he too was paid by Stevens, though he didn’t recall the amount. The earth-moving contractor who prepared the ground for the job also said he was paid by Stevens.

That would leave little if any left over for a range of other work that was done, everything from design to plumbing and electric to a new roof.


• Augie Paone of Christensen Builders, the main contractor, said he was paid “more than $100,000” by Stevens for framing, other carpentry and some of the kitchen cabinetry and painting. Paone said he has testified about the project before a federal grand jury in Anchorage.

• Anchorage house mover Toney Hannah said he was paid by Stevens for jacking up the home, building a new foundation, then lowering the home on the new first story. He didn’t recall how much he was paid and couldn’t look up the invoices because they had been taken by the FBI.

• Girdwood contractor Bob Redmond was paid by Stevens for earth-moving work associated with the project, according to his stepmother, Jean Redmond. The FBI took his files as well, she said.

That leaves the project design, blueprints, Veco’s project management, plumbing, heating and electrical work unaccounted for, as well as carpentry work performed before Paone was hired. In addition, a neighbor, Daryl Pederson, said a new aluminum roof was installed at the time, on a roofline with multiple peaks and angles. Whether the project included new appliances or other furnishings couldn’t be determined.

Paone said he was hired by Veco’s chairman at the time, Bill Allen, and said he submitted his invoices to Veco first before he was paid by Stevens.


(Bill) Allen has pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska legislators and violating tax laws and is cooperating with federal authorities in hopes of getting a reduction in his sentence and keeping other family members out of jail. The FBI had wiretaps on his phones and video surveillance of his lobbying hotel suite in Juneau for more than two years before the federal investigation broke into the open in August 2006 with raids on the offices of six legislators, including then Senate President Ben Stevens, Ted Stevens’ son. Ben Stevens has not been charged.

How come Stevens couldn’t get this good a deal on that bridge to nowhere when the taxpayers are stuck with the tab?


Filed under Alaska, Ben Stevens, Bill Allen, Catherine Stevens, FBI, humor, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Scandals, snark, Ted Stevens, VECO, Wiretaps

7 responses to “Mystery Solved?

  1. nightowl724

    HEY! Tubular Bells! That was one of my husband’s and my favorites! I did a double-take when I saw that…

    You are really digging deep into the vaults, kiddo, with this old film. That’s cool and it must be fun, too.

    I love how you put the sign in Allen’s hand and worked the Steven’s house into the background.

    May I offer some background music?

    Uh-oh… I feel a song parody coming on…

    Kudos, nonnie!

  2. nonnie9999

    hey nightowl! 😀
    did you notice the guy on the original movie? it’s the doctor from Gunsmoke!
    i didn’t think anyone would recognize tubular bells. i remember the title and little else, so i know i wouldn’t recognize the album cover. i wish i knew what teddy’s house looked like before the face-lift. it looks pretty damned good now, especially when he only spent 100 thou. maybe ty pennington and the crew went up to alaska?

  3. nightowl724

    I thought that at first, too, but the Gunsmoke doctor was actually Milburn Stone:

    They certainly look alike!

  4. nonnie9999

    that’s how i knew it was doc. milburn stone is named second on the bottom of the dvd cover. it was only after seeing the name that the face was familiar.

  5. nightowl724

    Doh! I missed that! Hmmm… I just gotta get these glasses – and brain cells – into the shop for some repairs!

  6. nonnie9999

    let me know if you find a good repairman, and pass the name over here. 😀

  7. nightowl724

    Oh, fer sure…