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French Makes Case Against Renkes 
Says Senators Should Begin Thinking About & Debating Impeachment


January 14, 2005

Juneau, Alaska - Senator Hollis French, D-Anchorage, laid out the case against Attorney General Gregg Renkes Thursday in a speech on the Senate floor, saying "I am not calling for the impeachment of the Attorney General. I am saying that it is time for the members of this body to begin to think about it and debate it. We all have an obligation to protect the public trust."

"The case is a very routine instance of conflict of interest," French said. "It would make a good working definition of conflict of interest for first-year law students."

Citing materials released by the administration in response to public information act requests, as well as other materials, French offered his synopsis of the case against Renkes.

"According to documents in the public record," French alleges, "the Attorney General:

1. Brought KFx to the attention of state trade officials.
2. Flew to Taiwan to promote the Beluga project.
3. Served as host to Taiwanese representatives visiting Alaska.
4. Wrote to Taiwanese extolling the virtues of KFx technology.
5. Kept pushing state officials to move the project along.
6. Modified a trade agreement between Taiwan and Alaska in a way that directly benefited KFx."

 French said at the time, Renkes owned 12,000 shares of KFx stock.

Governor Frank H. Murkowski announced in October the appointment of former United States Attorney for Alaska Robert Bundy to review and make recommendations to the governor on issues raised regarding Attorney General Gregg Renkes' stock ownership and his role in promoting natural resource development.

"Bob is a person of impeccable character and legal credentials who was United States Attorney for Alaska during the Clinton administration," Murkowski said during the October announcement. "Our administration and the attorney general will provide him complete access to the people and information he needs to perform his tasks. His report will, of course, be made public."

"I have known and worked with Gregg Renkes for 18 years and have the utmost confidence in him and in his integrity. The attorney general and I take this matter very seriously," said the governor in October. "That's why I agree with the attorney general's request for an independent review of this issue to assure the public of the continued integrity of the attorney general and his office."

Murkowski said he had asked Renkes to become involved in the state's international trade efforts because of Renkes' knowledge and experience promoting Alaska's coal resource and his understanding of the need for that resource in Asia. "We have a long history of working together with the government of Taiwan to promote investment in Alaska," said the governor October 3rd.

Attorney General Gregg Renkes also issued a statement in October 2004 regarding the issues raised concerning his involvement with companies proposing to develop the Cook Inlet coal fields in concert with the Taiwanese
government. Download Renkes' full statementpdf

Senator French also criticized the response of Gov. Frank Murkowski to the concerns about Renkes. "The Governor's office has urged us to wait for the Bundy report," French said. "The report, which was originally budgeted for $25,000 with a due date of Dec. 31, is now budgeted for $125,000 and has a due date of Feb. 28. What's next, $350,000 and Halloween?"



Office of the Governor
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Alaska Department of Law
Web Site

Alaska Democrats
Web Site


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