Former Speaker Kott up for early release from probation

Former House Speaker Pete Kott may get off federal probation for bribery a year early.

His probation officers filed a request Tuesday in U.S. District Court for early release. Kott served two of three years of supervised released without trouble, the request by probation officer Timothy Astle and chief probation officer Karen Brewer said.

Kott paid a $10,000 fine, the probation officers said. He "maintained a stable residence and employment, has reported as instructed, and has no known/documented violations of his conditions of release since commencement," the request said. The officers didn't say what work Kott, 64, was doing. He used to run a flooring business.

Kott pleaded guilty to bribery in 2011 after winning a do-over of his 2007 corruption conviction as a result of the failure of prosecutors to turn over evidence that could have helped him. Kott was among a number of state legislators, as well as the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, caught up in a massive federal investigation of oil money contamination of Alaska politics. When Kott admitted in 2011 accepting bribes, he was sentenced to the 17 months of prison time already served as well as probation. He originally was sentenced to six years in prison.

The probation office typically evaluates whether offenders deserve early release on the anniversary of their probation start. The U.S. Attorney's office didn't object to Kott being released early, the request said.

The matter is now before U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline.

Anchorage Daily News /