Early release for ex-Alaska state Rep. Anderson

Posted: Thursday, February 03, 2011

ANCHORAGE — Ex-state Rep. Tom Anderson, who was convicted in an Alaska corruption scandal, has been moved out of a federal prison work camp at Sheridan, Ore., and into a halfway house in the Seattle area, the Anchorage Daily News reported Wednesday.

His release date has been moved up to July 30 and he’s being evaluated for home confinement, which could allow him to return sooner to Alaska. Anderson had been scheduled for release in April 2012.

He received a five-year sentence in 2007 for bribery, extortion and money laundering for taking secret payments in return for pushing a private prison company’s interests.

Anderson contended at his trial he was set up by the government but later admitted he violated the public trust. He had served two terms in the Alaska House, representing the Muldoon area east of Anchorage.

Anderson’s release is classified as a Bureau of Prisons “substance abuse treatment release,” said Chris Burke, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Prisons.

“Normally that means an inmate has completed a substance abuse program and has been granted some sort of time off for completion of that program,” Burke said.

Non-violent federal inmates who complete a drug or alcohol treatment program while in prison can qualify to get as much as a year taken off their sentence.

Anderson’s lawyer in Anchorage, Fred Dewey, refused to comment. “Right now we’re just not commenting on anything,” he said.

Home confinement often involves living with a relative. Anchorage Sen. Lesil McGuire, who has a son with Anderson, filed for divorce from him last year.

Anderson’s father, also named Tom, is a former director of the Alaska State Troopers.

The minimum security work camp in Oregon has housed other figures convicted in Alaska’s political corruption scandals as well. Former state Rep. Pete Kott served time there. Rick Smith, former vice president of the oil field services company Veco Corp., is currently at Sheridan and scheduled to be released on July 20.



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