FBI agents search offices of at least seven lawmakers

Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2006

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Federal investigators on Thursday raided the offices of at least seven lawmakers.

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"The FBI along with other agencies are executing search warrants in Anchorage, Juneau, Wasilla, Eagle River and Girdwood," said FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez.

He declined to name the other agencies involved, which legislators and how many total were targeted or what the intent of the Girdwood search was.

"Because it's a pending investigation, that's all that I can release," Gonzalez said.

Tam Cook, the Legislature's top attorney, said she was monitoring the FBI agents as they searched Capitol offices.

When the 27-year employee was asked if she had ever seen such a raid, Cook said: "Not that I recall, since I've been working here."

Agents were conducting office searches in both Juneau and Anchorage belonging to Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage, the Senate Rules chairman.

Cowdery stood by in his Anchorage office as agents searched.

The offices of Senate President Ben Stevens, R-Anchorage; Rep. Vic Kohring, R-Wasilla; Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch, R-Juneau; Sen. Donald Olson, D-Nome; and Rep. Pete Kott, R-Eagle River were also part of the raid.

An agent wearing blue rubber gloves was seen rifling through documents in Stevens' Anchorage office. The blinds were mostly drawn and doors shut in most offices being searched at the downtown Legislative Information Office in Anchorage.

In Juneau, the few legislative aides working Thursday had little information about the raids.

"None of us know anything, but two guys with short hair and no necks looked around the corner when I came in," said Cindy Smith, an aide to Sen. Hollis French, whose Capitol office is next to Olson's.

Kohring, contacted at his legislative office in Wasilla, would not confirm that his office was part of the raid or what agents were searching for, saying "I can't talk about that right now."

Messages left with other lawmakers and Senate Republican majority spokesman Jeff Turner were not immediately returned.


Associated Press Writer Jeannette J. Lee in Anchorage contributed to this report.

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