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.
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: