Politics & Government

Alaska Gov. Parnell's hiring of aide called into question

Gov. Sean Parnell's hire of state Sen. Gene Therriault last year is drawing scrutiny, with a rival candidate for governor saying Therriault should be fired and now activist Andree McLeod producing a document she says proves the hire illegal.

The Parnell administration says the document does not prove that at all.

Therriault said Monday he has no intention of following former Rep. Nancy Dahlstrom, who resigned from the Parnell administration this month after Attorney General Dan Sullivan said there was an "appreciable risk" a court might find her hire illegal.

Both Dahlstrom and Therriault left the Legislature for newly created positions in the Parnell administration. The Alaska Constitution and state law do not allow legislators to be "nominated, elected or appointed" to any state job that was created while they were in office. They must wait a year before taking such a job.

The Parnell administration maintained the hiring was legal because the jobs were not technically created until after the legislators had left office. McLeod said the document she obtained from the governor's office through a public records request proves otherwise. She sent the document this weekend to the Daily News and many others.

Therriault left the state Senate on Sept. 13.

McLeod obtained a "Request for Personnel Action" form signed by Linda Perez of the governor's office on Sept. 1 and by Therriault Sept. 12. The document says Therriault acknowledges "I am being appointed" to a state position (he was being made Parnell's energy adviser).

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