The case against former Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was dismissed on Tuesday by a federal judge who also launched a criminal investigation into possible misconduct by prosecutors.

The Associated Press is reporting that U.S. District Judget Emmet Sullivan has appointed a special prosecutor, Washington attorney Henry Schuelke, to investigate the Justice Department lawyers' handling of the case.

Sullivan also blasted the prosecution.

"In nearly 25 years on the bench, I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case," he said.

Stevens was convicted for not accurately reporting gifts about a week before last year's election. He went on to lose to now Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat.