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Alaska Editorial: Keep pressing on Allen Case

Posted: March 2, 2012 - 1:10am

This editorial first appeared in the Anchorage Daily News:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski told the Alaska Legislature last week that she’ll keep asking why the Justice Department dropped a teen sex crime case against former Veco chief Bill Allen, convicted on corruption charges in Alaska’s political scandal.

She said she’ll keep asking until she gets answers.

Attorney General Eric Holder told the senator that there was no deal with Allen in return for his testimony against the late Sen. Ted Stevens. He said if a case could have been made, the department would have made it. But he hasn’t said why a case couldn’t be made and hasn’t explained why the feds refuse to let the state pursue a case. Some Alaskans, including Anchorage police investigators, believe there’s a case to make.

Justice needs to explain how justice is served by dropping the case without explanation — especially justice for the young woman allegedly victimized by Allen.

As Murkowski said, the department’s silence sends a miserable message — that young women cannot expect justice from a system if an accused violator is someone of wealth and power.

This is less about Bill Allen than about doing right by the young woman involved.

An internal investigation should have results in April. Murkowski said she hopes for answers then. If they’re not satisfactory, she’ll keep pressing. Good.

Justice may have dropped the case. Alaskans shouldn’t.

Why did feds drop Allen case? Answers still needed.

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