Legislative committee widens investigation into firing of Permanent Fund CEO, will subpoena board of trustees

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“The committee’s goal is to ensure the fund stays politically independent,” said Sen. Natasha von Imhof, as the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee voted unanimously to issue subpoenas to the entire board of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.

Over the objection of the Department of Law, which said the committee was acting improperly and politically, the legislators also voted to subpoena four employees of the state-owned corporation and one person from the Department of Revenue.

Angela Rodell, hired to run the Permanent Fund Corporation in 2015, was fired by the board of the Permanent Fund Corporation on Dec. 9. Those close to the matter say her relationship with the board had deteriorated over the past few years. The corporation, which runs Alaska’s sovereign wealth fund, is an independently run agency whose board of trustees is appointed by governors on a staggered basis. On Dec. 9, the board voted nearly unanimously to fire Rodell immediately. Just one of the board members voted against her firing.

The Department of Law, in a letter to the committee, advised against the action the committee is taking, reminding the politicians that “Although the Trustees acted in conformance with law and based on their best judgment when they made the decision to dismiss Angela Rodell, sometimes personnel decisions are not popular either with the employee or with others who are not responsible for managing an organization. This has been the case with the dismissal of Ms. Rodell.”

The Department of Law stated that the Permanent Fund Board believes that the committee’s investigation exceeds its statutory and constitutional authority – and the manner in which the investigation has begun raises serious concerns about its fairness and impartiality. The trustees believe a third party is a more appropriate way to investigate its actions, rather than the political body of the Legislature.

The letter also pointed out that von Imhof is a personal friend of Rodell. “This delegation of subpoena power to one individual and its current use as a threat to APFC Trustees and employees has been made even more problematic because of a clear conflict of interest at the center of the Committee’s investigation,” the State’s letter continued.

“Given the circumstances, the Trustees want to provide a path forward that will permit APFC to continue operating without becoming embroiled in political and legal squabbles, while respecting the public interest in this employment decision. The Board proposes that an independent party, such as a retired judge, be retained to review the issues related to the Board’s decision, and to issue a report. We hope that the Committee will give this proposal serious consideration as the best approach in these circumstances,” the letter said.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Political bullying. Subpoenas don’t mean much, can’t make people say anything. It’s a personnel matter that the legislature need not involve themselves in.

  2. One has to wonder how often Von Imhof has used her position as chair to better her clients at Latash Investments…..

    • It grew, I don’t know if you read very much news but the price of oil and natural have gone up recently. No one knows why. Also there was a weird occurrence of the stock market going through a period of rally’s and then stalling and falling and then rallying again. Also a mystery.

  3. If von Imhof is involved, then there’s chicanery afoot. This stinks of croneyism and retaliation. She is the embodiment of a wrench in the gears of government. I thought she was leaving office, how much longer must we suffer?

  4. “The committee’s goal is to ensure the fund stays politically independent,” said Sen. Natasha von Imhof…well Natasha then the prudent thing to do would be to leave your mitts off it and let the fund hire and fire who they deem fit.
    This is all political meddling and sets a precedence for the legislators to influence the running of the fund…..

  5. DOJ is subservient to the US Constitution. What we are witnessing is the due process available to each of us who experience or know of usurpations of US Constitutional Rights. This is THE legislative process in action. The mere fact this is a first instance from statehood to present, a period over fifty years, is shocking. When such a case is brought into court the judge correctly states he will hear cases in his authority. What he doesn’t say is that is after Legislative Constitutional, the due process review we are seeing for the first time ever in Alaska, review.

  6. The due process in Alaska had apparently been lost. There are those in the now ruling class who benefit from the loss of the stunning legislative process that is due and public employees are now on record objecting to such revival.
    .
    The duty to remove tyrants is done by due process by the legislators in Alaska. Bad actors who by their own actions may receive orders to pay remedy even treble damages and should forfeit any other receipt of stipends from public trust funds forever. THIS is how we KEEP the Republic. THIS is an example of defense of the US Constitution. We the people of Alaska should,urgently be seeing these investigations regularly until the US Constitution prevails again in Alaska.

  7. Von Imhof has consistently ran on one platform and completely gone into the toilet when she gets elected. Next election cycle I intend to work in opposition to her election. I am sick of elected officials going to Juneau and burning through cash, with zero benefit to their constituents.

  8. Legislative delegation to third parties is not delgatable authority. That would be repugnant to the republic form of government. Government must act to secure possessive rights. Usurpations are common law trespasses. Justice is without sale or delay and by immediate report of credible witnesses in persona. Without due process we have illegal, pernicious happenings. The senate means the purse.

  9. I hope the trustees have recieved christ and they have the word of God near them while they face off leaders who do not follow God. This hostility is expected when trying to do right.

  10. It seems obvious to me that “at Will” mean nothing to government vs government, I would recommend not testifying unless a judge tells me otherwise. It’s not like they have any deadlines to meet for other business the state could be addressing. It is obvious ‘good Ol boy’ individuals have taken a hit. There couldn’t be any bias involved here could there. If this is not resolved by ‘at will’ privacy privilege, then it will reverberate to every employer in AK. I would like to see the situation resolved that the board says nothing because ‘At will’ is supposed to mean something!

  11. This corporation was created for the benefit of the public and all officers are expected to obey the corporate by laws. It is criminal to violate the creation statute and bylaws. You are submitted to a candid world.

  12. This corporation was created for the benefit of the public and all officers are expected to obey the corporate by laws. It is criminal to violate the creation statute and bylaws submitted to a candid world.

    • We haven’t had this before because employers and employees understand the legal status of “At Will”. Mix in government on both ends and now we are about to have a new definition of “At will” . This investigation looks to be personality driven and biased. Does anybody really think that if the people (fired employee and legislative chair) leading this investigation did not know each other that this would be happening.

  13. Good Grief, I remember when the Family that Senator von Imhof is from ran a good sized bank in Alaska. Local banking helped Alaskans from every corner of our State. Seems they sold the Bank to a Mega Corp and got a ton of loot which was put into a ‘Trust” to help Alaska… Damn, now members of this family are in politics meddling and in an attempt to doing good. I wish they still owned the Bank and just helped Alaska the way they did previously. Oh well, you know what is said about good intentions!

  14. “The committee’s goal is to ensure the fund stays politically independent,” said Sen. Natasha von Imhof, a member of a majority caucus in a legislative body who chose to break statute in collusion with a previous governor and the Supreme Court to gain control of the fund.

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