State Briefs

Posted: Sunday, June 08, 2003

Pipeline shooter draws 16-year sentence

FAIRBANKS - The man convicted of shooting a hole through the trans-Alaska oil pipeline was sentenced Friday to 16 years in state prison.

Daniel Lewis showed no reaction to the sentence.

"The only thing I would like to say is I am not guilty of these charges," he said.

In December, jurors convicted Lewis of oil pollution and first-degree criminal mischief in connection with the pipeline shooting that caused more than 285,000 gallons of oil to spill near Livengood north of Fairbanks on Oct. 4, 2001. Cleanup costs have exceeded $13 million.

Lewis, 39, also was found guilty of fourth-degree misconduct involving weapons for handling the hunting rifle linked to the shooting while drunk, third-degree assault for pointing the gun at his brother, and driving while intoxicated for operating a four-wheeler while drunk.

Lewis' sentence includes 480 days of revoked suspended time from prior DUI convictions. In addition to more than 16 years of jail time, the sentence also includes five years of probation and six years of suspended time, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

In March 2002 Lewis was convicted in federal court on a weapons charge for being a felon in possession of the .338-caliber Mossberg hunting rifle used in the pipeline shooting. He faces 10 years in a federal facility on that charge, though the court has not decided whether that sentence will be concurrent to the state sentence.

APOC fines Anchorage Assemblyman, group

ANCHORAGE - The Alaska Public Offices Commission voted unanimously Thursday to fine Anchorage Assemblyman Doug Van Etten $11,013.50 for 20 violations of state campaign finance and disclosure laws.

The APOC also fined a now-defunct ballot measure group, Alaskans for Majority Vote, $225 for failing to report in-kind contributions from two Outside political groups

At the hearing Thursday afternoon, Van Etten was apologetic.

"There's no justifiable excuse," he said.

The staff recommended a fine of about $10,000, which is among the highest the commission has considered in recent years, said Commissioner John Dapcevich.

APOC staffers said that they did not believe Van Etten tried to mislead the public.

Van Etten's violations fell into two categories: disclosure violations on the mandatory campaign finance reports and failures to disclose information about his personal finances.

The commission also fined Alaskans for Majority Vote, formed in 2001 to push for passage of so-called "instant runoff," a type of voting in which people rank their preferred candidate.

The group filed a campaign report three days late in August 2002 and failed to report a $4,100 in-kind contribution for printing and other services by the Center for Voting and Democracy, based in Takoma Park, Md.

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