WASHINGTON, July 29 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, Tuesday said he "never knowingly submitted" a false disclosure form, despite being indicted.
"I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that," Stevens said in a statement posted on his Web site."
A federal grand jury in Washington indicted Stevens on seven charges of making false statements on the disclosure forms from 1999-2006, Matthew Friedrich, acting assistant U.S. attorney general, said in a news conference. Stevens allegedly received "substantial amounts of materials and labor" from oil services contractor VECO Corp. in the renovation of his home in Alaska.
"It saddens me to learn that these charges have been brought against me," Stevens said. "I have never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. senator."
In keeping with the Senate Republican Conference rules, Stevens said he "temporarily relinquished" his vice-chairmanship and ranking positions "until I am absolved of these charges."