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Ruedrich Affair Raises Questions
Democratic Legislators urge Attorney General to appoint special prosecutor

 

January 21, 2004
Wednesday - 12:30 am


Juneau - Tuesday Senator Hollis French (D-Anchorage), a former prosecutor, called on Alaska Attorney General Gregg Renkes to immediately appoint a special prosecutor to determine whether former AOGCC commissioner Randy Ruedrich violated state executive ethics laws by conducting Republican Party of Alaska business on his state computer.

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."

 

Source of News Release:

Alaska Democrats
Web Site

 

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