Declaring that enough is enough, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick refused to accept another sentencing delay for former Veco Corp. chief executive Bill Allen and ordered him to stand for his punishment on corruption charges in October.
Rejecting a secret filing last week by federal prosecutors that Allen and former Veco Vice President Rick Smith were still needed for ongoing corruption investigations, Sedwick said in orders filed Tuesday that Alaska "has substantial interest in seeing the imposition of punishment for these crimes without undue delay."
Sedwick gave prosecutors two final options besides routine sentencing delays for encouraging Allen and Smith to continue to cooperate:They could follow a standard federal criminal rule and ask for a reduction in sentence up to a year after their formal sentencing; or they could file a special request by Oct. 12 giving a detailed list of every suspect who Allen and Smith are witnesses against, where the prosecutions of those suspects would take place, the date a grand jury is expected to bring charges, and whether Allen or Smith would testify at trial.
But Sedwick said he was strongly leaning toward imposing sentence on Oct. 28.
Allen and Smith each pleaded guilty to three felony counts May 7, 2007. At the time, prosecutors asked their sentences be delayed while they continued their investigation of Alaska politicians. Sedwick agreed, and set a date for a status reports. Since May 7, 2007, prosecutors have filed six status reports, all under seal, asking for continuances.
Sedwick said that's no longer good enough.
"Given these considerations, the court finds that it no longer in the interest of justice to continue a seemingly endless series of status reports which push the imposition of punishment further and further into the future."
Sedwick also indicted that regardless of any reduction of prison time for Allen for his cooperation, he will consider handing him a maximum fine.
Allen was a key witness in the trials of then U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and two state legislators convicted of corruption charges: Pete Kott and Vic Kohring.