TIME TO ‘RESTORE TRUST’
Gov. Michael Dunleavy accepted the resignation of the chair and vice chair of the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights and announced his selections to fill their vacancies effective immediately: Cynthia Erickson of Tanana and A. Debbie Fullenwider of Anchorage.
“Today, I accept the immediate resignation of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Alaska State Commission on Human Rights,” said Dunleavy. “Following recent events, and the Commission’s failure to restore the public’s trust by taking appropriate action, I believe making changes are necessary to take the commission in a new direction. I have faith our new appointees will stand up for all Alaskans who may be unfairly treated, and will take their responsibilities with the seriousness they deserve.”
Gov. Dunleavy’s appointees to the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights are:
Cynthia Erickson of Tanana is a graduate of University of Alaska Fairbanks. She is an experienced businesswoman, owning a number of businesses including Tanana Commercial Co. LLC, Tanakon Bed and Breakfast, and Alaska Business Consulting.
Erickson started her own non-profit, My Grandma’s House ‘Setsoo Yeh,’ working with and improving the lives of children throughout Alaska. She has further experience serving Alaskans as a legislative aide and currently serves on the State Suicide Prevention Council.
Debbie Fullenwider of Anchorage has an extensive background in serving the Alaska Native community. She has served in leadership positions with Eklutna Inc., including the position of President. As a former Director of Cook Inlet Region Inc., Ms. Fullenwider served its shareholders for more than 13 years.
She has also served as a former Director of Cook Inlet Tribal Council and was associated with the Council for over 25 years. Additionally, she has served on a number of State Commissions, including the Alaska Post-Secondary Commission and the Alaska Equal Rights Commission.
Erickson’s term begins April 10, 2019 and expires on March 1, 2021 and Fullenwider’s term begins April 10, 2019 and expire on March 1, 2023.
The vacancies came open due to a scandal created by the outgoing executive director, who used State resources to bully a tradesman who had parked his vehicle in the agency’s parking lot while doing work on the building. His truck had a “Black Rifles Matter” decal on it and Executive Director Marti Buscaglia found it offensive and ordered him to remove his truck. She then used the commission’s Facebook page to post disparaging comments about the owner of the truck.
The Dunleavy Administration called for an investigation and a report was forwarded to the commission. In a vote of 5-2, the commissioners allowed Buscaglia to keep her job. She resigned on Monday and two commissioners resigned shortly thereafter.