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Legislative committee asks Permanent Fund chairman for answers on CEO’s firing

Sen. Natasha von Imhof, chairwoman of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, wants answers from Permanent Fund Chairman Craig Richards about why the Board of Trustees suddenly fired CEO Angela Rodell.

“The dismissal was abrupt and the APFC has not provided any explanation for its actions or a clear plan for a professional and timely leadership transition. The Board’s actions threaten to send a message of management instability at the APFC during a time of global uncertainty,” she wrote.

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Rodell was dismissed by the board on a vote of 5-1 during the Dec. 9 quarterly meeting of the board of trustees. The board has stated that it is a personnel matter and is confidential.

Alaska’s Permanent Fund, with $83 billion in assets, is owned by the State of Alaska; its oversight board of trustees is appointed by the governor according to a schedule set by law. The board Chairman Craig Richards was initially placed on the board by former Gov. Bill Walker and was retained by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Others on the board includes designated seats for the Commissioner of Revenue and Commissioner of Natural Resources; all but one of the members, Bill Moran, were appointed by Dunleavy.

Von Imhof said in her letter that because the Permanent Fund now provides more than 65 percent of the state’s annual revenue and is now without a CEO, the public and policymakers need to know what transpired.

“Hiding behind employee confidentiality by refusing to provide any information or transparency regarding the process followed by the Board, or its goals and intent, contradicts the Board’s giving principles stated on your website,” she wrote.

Von Imhof said the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee has the responsibility to see that the Permanent Fund exists in perpetuity and is not politicized.

She is asking Richards to produce for the committee:

  • Any and all communications from 2019-present between the Trustees and the executive branch of the State of Alaska relating to the performance of Rodell.
  • Any and all communications from 2019-present between the Trustees and the executive branch relating to the decision to fire Rodell.
  • Any and all communications from 2019-present between employees of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation and the executive branch relating to the performance of and the decision to fire Rodell as CEO.
  • Copies of employee surveys from 2019-present that APFC conducted or received from any source.
  • Copies of Rodell’s employment contract.
  • Copies of all policies and procedures regarding employee termination, discipline, and counseling of employees.
  • Copies of all reports and documents considered by the board at the meeting at which the board terminated Rodell.
  • Copies of any benchmark reports used by the board in its evaluation of Rodell in 2021.
  • Any communications from 2019-present from any fund managers investment banksers or third parties to the board that either raised concerns with or praised Rodell’s performance.

Read the Von Imhof letter here:

Von Imhof is also asking that Richards destroy no documents relating to the material she wants to see. That request came in a separate letter:

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. It’s good to know that elected representatives DO KNOW that they may inquire at length (investigate) on behalf of we, the Alaskan people, at our request or the elected member’s own volition regarding any matter or entity created by their authority. For instance, the scope, limits, activities of created agencies or corporations brought into being by “virtue” of the state issued business license of any type. I heretofore wondered if they “knew” they had this responsibility legislatively or if they had the slightest curiousity about the due process (responsibility) created by the US Constitution. I admire the athletic in-depth questions posed and look forward to results.

    • To that end I might verbosely add that I picture in my mind an understood process, noticed and followed by the appointed committee, by the designated so named officer after legislative review rather than a willy-nilly mere individual initiating a custom, organic inquiry. I wouldn’t want to abandon any though barely now existent due process no matter how fragile and deeply submerged and peopled by timid, recent graduates from some wealth preservation academy peopled also by a quiscient, soft-spoken, inexperienced, demure individual given the position that due to gentle temperament is not likely to initiate any action in preservation of Constitutional rights for far away mythological mere constituents while feigning gentle lack of knowledge of requested due process as Juneau hires tend to do now and evidently suggest to the public that due process is deflectively inquiring of state human resource hierarchy the best way to obtain Constitutional investigation requests at this time in history. (PIZZA and private leg wrestling). It might be best to tighten up the “entry to legislator investigation process”. Doing the processing tightening would give some evidence we do want to provide fairness and to preserve and defend US Constitutional investigation process as it applies everywhere in all agency/corporate investigations for conflicts of Constitutional rights of Alaskan Americans to review for dissipations of constituent Constitutional rights where the rights sit now immersed in the Juneau mud. Say, do you still have a non-due process of telling security the names and photos of substandard generally minority individual constituents whose pictures and background life stories are circulated about and snickered about by the clerks still cheerfully happening in Juneau informally in a small town way informally? Who authorized this attack on their rights to privacy and public service? Shall we clean that little error up as well? And, btw, where in the laid down law as expressed in the Constitution is it expressed this limiting of Constitution rights is legal. I do think it would be better to have all meetings this year in the populous southcentral. This last year gives evidence that the people will receive perkier “represenation” when the population is nearer by God to thee. Come on over.

  2. HaHa! Natasha saying that the Permanent Fund is not “politicized” is a joke. She’s been doing that all along by denying citizens their right to the funds.

    • It’s only not “politicized” when Princess hissy fit is doing the politicizing – but woe to anyone who disagrees with her – they’re the ones who are political… Helicopter hair is whirling fast enough to be heard outside the swamp…

  3. Imathief and the rest of the Committee have no business trying to get involved and micro manage a Department that actually works.

    They should get busy and figure out how to wipe out the State Deficit they helped create. Try micro managing that, instead of stealing the PFD.

  4. This is a Democrat witch-hunt with no real authority or plenary power over the Permanent Fund Board. Von Imhof and the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee are searching and barking up the wrong tree. Rodell served at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees. If the Board decided they wanted to remove her, they did it on a vote by the board. No explanation needed or required. Any legislative inquiries or explanations requested by ADN is political theater. What this is really about is Bill Walker trying to embarrass Mike Dunleavy. The one who should be embarrassed is Walker and his Democrat operatives. But how can Walker be embarrassed any further than he already is? Shameless!

    • If Walker wants a prayer of a chance at being elected, he must divorce himself from the Princess immediately – nobody likes or wants imperial control. Walker has already lost the Bush.

  5. Natasha is one of the one’s who wants the $$ for themselves and cheated us out of our share of the PFD.. The ones who are squawking are the ones who wanted the $$ for their petty projects rather then following the original laws of the PFD distribution.. Rodell was fired for a reason. If left in charge, and Walker won the election she would feathered everything to his pleasure.

  6. Butt out Natasha. Firing Rodell is the Board’s prerogative. If Rodell wants to tell you, that’s her choice. Otherwise quit wasting our money and just MYOB.

    • The Legislature has an oversight role. Von Imhof is 100% within her scope. If it was a far right Republican asking for an investigation of the firing of Rodell, you’d be all for it.

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