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Stevens Relinquishes Vice Chairmanship of Commerce

Embattled Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), former chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, relinquished that vice chairman's post for now but said he is innocent and vowed to fight the indictment against him in a federal corruption probe.

"I have proudly served this nation and Alaska for more than 50 years," he said in a statement posted on his Web site.

"My public service began when I served in World War II," Stevens added. "It saddens me to learn that these charges have been brought against me. I have never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. senator."

He continued, "In accordance with Senate Republican Conference rules, I have temporarily relinquished my vice chairmanship and ranking positions until I am absolved of these charges ... I am innocent of these charges and intend to prove that."

Stevens has been a key figure in digital-TV-transition legislation, the network-neutrality debate and the push for the Federal Communications Commission's crackdown on indecency.