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Alaska Public Interest Research Group Says Governor Evades Vetting Process in Late Appointment to RCA Commission


July 10, 2022

(SitNews) Anchorage, Alaska - Last week the Alaska Public Interest Research Group condemned Governor Dunleavy’s appointment of Bob Doyle to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA). On May 25, 2022 just a week after the legislative session concluded, Governor Dunleavy appointed Bob Doyle to replace Commissioner Antony Scott whose term ended March 1, 2022. 

The RCA, responsible for overseeing public utilities and pipeline services, is composed of 5 appointed commissioners. The statutory qualifications (AS 42.04.020) for RCA commissioners explicitly requires an accredited degree background or at least 5 years of practice in the technical fields of law, engineering, finance, economics, accounting, business administration or public administration. Commissioners serve 6 year terms and earn an annual salary of approximately $137,000. Appointments to the RCA must be approved by the Alaska Legislature and, for appointments following terms that expire on or before March 1st, should be presented to the legislature within the first 15 days after the Legislature convenes for regular session (AS 39.05.080).

Given that Governor Dunleavy made the appointment after the legislative session concluded, Doyle, who according to the Alaska Public Interest Research Group does not obviously meet the statutory qualifications of a RCA commissioner, will serve on the Commission without having a legislative confirmation until the legislature is back in session in Spring 2023. 

“By making this appointment after the legislative session wrapped, the Governor is essentially evading the vetting process and undermining legislative authority and oversight,” said Veri di Suvero, Executive Director of the Alaska Public Interest Research Group, “the Governor had the whole session to put forward Doyle’s name, and did not. If he was so thrilled to appoint Doyle, you’d think the Governor would be willing to stand by his choice through the legislative process. It calls into question if the Governor did this to avoid questions about Doyle’s qualifications and it undermines the public’s trust in the Commission as a whole.” 

According to a statement released by the Commission, Doyle’s career was in public education. Doyle additionally served on the Matanuska Electric Association, Inc.’s Board of Directors from 2010-2022 and is a past member at the Alaska Labor Relations Agency and the Alaska Workers’ Compensation Board.  

Keith Kurber, was appointed to the RCA by Governor Dunleavy last year after a failed run for state office, where he underwent a legislative confirmation process that clearly exposed his failure to credibly satisfy statutory requirements according to the Alaska Public Interest Research Group. Kurber was recently appointed to be the RCA Chair, replacing Robert M. Pickett as RCA Chair. An additional RCA commissioner appointment is likely in the near future as Commissioner Pickett’s RCA term expired June 30, 2022. 

Edited By: Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Public Interest Research Group



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