The mistakes by prosecutors handling the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens, who died in 2010, not only cost them the case, they cost taxpayers nearly a cool million bucks.
Our colleague Del Quentin Wilber reports that the law firm of Henry F. Schuelke III, who was appointed special prosecutor, was paid $981,842.42 to investigate the alleged mishandling of the case. Schuelke’s blistering, 514-page report concluded that prosecutors had engaged in serious misconduct.
Schuelke testified this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he told Stevens’s former colleagues that the prosecutors in the corruption case were so intent on winning, they intentionally withheld information they were obligated to give the defense.
But their overzealousness eventually botched the case: A federal judge threw out Stevens’s guilty verdict and ordered the independent investigation after the Justice Department disclosed that evidence was withheld from defense attorneys.
Stevens, who died in a 2010 plane crash, was convicted in 2008 on corruption charges and weeks later lost his bid for reelection.