Two prosecutors in the bungled corruption case of former Senator Ted Stevens have been ordered suspended without pay. The suspension comes as part of a new report on the trial. This is the harshest punishment to date.
The report runs nearly seven hundred pages and was sent to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, and Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan presided over the case in 2008.
It comes from the United States Department of Justice, the agency that prosecuted the late Senator and ultimately reversed the conviction because of the prosecutors’ misconduct.
Joseph Bottini, still an assistant U.S. attorney in Anchorage, will be suspended for forty days without pay. And James Goeke, now Assistant U.S. attorney in Washington State, will be suspended without pay for fifteen days.
The two withheld information in the Stevens corruption trial that would have discredited the government’s key witness, Bill Allen. The report says the prosecutors recklessly ignored contradictory statements from Allen … and refused to share information showing Stevens was willing to pay for the construction work done on his Girdwood home.
A report from a special prosecutor released in March said no charges should be filed against the two. That report said the misconduct was completely intentional. This one, from the DOJ notes the misconduct as unintentional. It does not name any other members of the prosecution team. It says none acted with professional misconduct, though it says, without naming, one prosecutor exercised poor judgment.
Some could see suspension without pay as a slap on the wrist. The two could have lost their jobs, either way, they can appeal.