Alaska state senator pleads not guilty in another corruption case

Anchorage state Sen. John Cowdery pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges Monday after his lawyer wheeled him into court in a wheelchair.

U.S. marshals fingerprinted Cowdery and took his passport, and a magistrate allowed him to go free on $5,000 bond. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline will preside over Cowdery's trial, which is set for Oct. 6 in Anchorage.

The 78-year-old Cowdery faces a maximum of 15 years in federal prison if convicted on the two corruption charges. He is accused of scheming with executives of Veco Corp. to try to buy the vote of a fellow state senator, Nome Democrat Donny Olson, in order to keep state oil taxes down.

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