"A federal jury found Alaska Republican Sen. Ted Stevens guilty today of accepting and concealing tens of thousands of dollars in free home renovations and other gifts, a felony conviction that likely spells the end of a legendary Senate career..."
"The jury convicted Stevens on all seven counts brought by federal prosecutors..."
"Stevens is only the fifth sitting senator ever to be convicted of a crime, and the first since 1981. The verdict comes just eight days before Election Day."
What happens to Senator Stevens in the context of a tight upcoming election for him, and his fate in the Senate should he be re-elected for a seventh term, is an interesting question:
"If Stevens is re-elected and chooses not to resign, the Senate eventually will hold hearings to decide if he should be expelled. Traditionally, however, the Senate has not initiated that process until a lawmaker has exhausted his legal options on appeal, a process that could take several years.
This New York Times article adds more detail:
"Despite being a convicted felon, he is not required to drop out of the race or resign from the Senate. If he wins re-election, he can continue to hold his seat because there is no rule barring felons from serving in Congress. The Senate could vote to expel Stevens on a two-thirds vote."
Which of course, is not likely to happen any time soon.
We all know if something like this happened to the CEO of a major public company. He or she'd be gone in the blink of an eye.
The rules do seem to be different for our elected leaders in Congress, regardless of party.