Democratic Legislators urge Attorney General to appoint special prosecutor
January 21, 2004
Until recently, Ruedrich served in a dual capacity as a paid Murkowski administration appointee to the Alaska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission while retaining his position as executive director of the Republican Party of Alaska. According to the information provided by the Alaska Democrats, at issue is whether Ruedrich sent hundreds of partisan e-mails from his computer potentially a criminal offense while he worked at the commission.
"A clean investigation is needed to put this issue to rest. When Ruedrich was nominated to the AOGCC by the Governor nine months ago, Democratic legislators spoke out and voted against this appointment, said Sen. French. "Our warnings went unheeded. Now, the good reputation of the AOGCC and of the Department of Law is in danger while these ethical questions linger.
According to Senator French, an independent investigation is needed, in part, because the attorney general is also a Murkowski appointee. Under Alaska saw, the AG is charged with conducting an investigation into these allegations. The Alaska attorney general is appointed and French says there is a need to be even more alert to indications of favoritism or cronyism with political friends.
"The attorney general is caught in a Catch-22 with the Ruedrich situation, said Sen. French. "An internal investigation outcome could be viewed as either a vendetta or a whitewash. This investigation must be conducted by someone who isn't connected to the Administration.
"Alaskans deserve to know
whether Ruedrich violated the law, French concluded. "If
he is innocent of wrongdoing, he deserves nothing less than an
above-board investigation to clear his name. It's time for Renkes
to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the Ruedrich affair."
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