ANCHORAGE - Former Alaska state Rep. Beverly Masek has started her six-month federal prison sentence for corruption.
The former Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher was sent to a minimum-security prison in Adelanto, Calif., about 85 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Masek, 46, pleaded guilty to accepting $4,000 in cash from former VECO Corp. Chief Executive Bill Allen. In exchange for part of the money, she withdrew a bill that Allen said would have hurt clients of the oil pipeline services company. Masek later sought more money, consulting work with VECO and funding to allow her to restart her kennel.
Masek, a Republican, represented the Willow area of the suburban Matanuska-Susitna Borough in the state House from 1995 to 2004. She is now one of two felons convicted in the federal corruption investigation who are behind bars. The other is former Rep. Tom Anderson of Anchorage, who is at a federal prison camp in Sheridan, Ore., with a release date of April 9, 2012.
Two other former legislators, Pete Kott and Vic Kohring, are free while they appeal their 2007 convictions.
VECO was an Anchorage-based multinational company that performed maintenance, construction and design work for oil companies before it was sold in 2007 to CH2M-Hill. The sale happened after Allen and a vice president, Rick Smith, pleaded guilty to bribing Alaska politicians.
Allen and a former VECO vice president, Rick Smith, have been sentenced but do not yet have spaces assigned in the federal prison system, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. Allen got three years and Smith 21 months.