JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s attorney general said his department will review a sole-source contract awarded to the grandson of a major donor to a group that worked to elect Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority last year entered into a contract with Clark Penney, which includes options for three, one-year extensions with costs not to exceed $441,000 through June 2022. Penney is a grandson of Bob Penney, a major donor to Dunleavy for Alaska.
Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, in a letter to state Reps. Zack Fields and Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins dated Tuesday, said he was directing the Department of Law to review the matter in response to concerns they had raised and at the request of Dunleavy.
The lawmakers had written Dunleavy, saying they had received conflicting information about the contract and asking: “Who directed the state to issue this contract?”
The extent of the review was not immediately clear. Messages seeking comment were left for a Department of Law spokeswoman.
Messages also were left for Penney and a spokesman for the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.
Tom Boutin, the authority’s executive director, told a House subcommittee earlier this month that he determined it should be a sole-source contract and he signed the document.
Dunleavy took aim at Fields and Kreiss-Tomkins during a news conference Wednesday, in which he said the issue had already been broached last year. But Dunleavy said a “deep dive” would be done on that and other contracts.
“We’re looking into it, and we will get to the bottom of whether there was anything done improper and we will have a press conference on that,” he said.
There’s an implication “somehow there was a sweetheart deal with an individual,” Dunleavy said. “We want to make sure that there is nothing that’s been overlooked, that there were no mistakes. We want to look into this thoroughly.”
Fields, an Anchorage Democrat, said Dunleavy was dodging the question of who directed the contract be issued.