Former Attorney General Craig Richards is reported tonight to have been elected the chairman of the Alaska Permanent Fund Board of Trustees, replacing Bill Moran of Ketchikan. Carl Brady remains vice chair.
The election came at the end of the board’s two-day meeting and the announcement was vaguely referred to in a press release by the corporation, which manages $65 billion in investments for the State of Alaska.
Richards is the former law partner of Gov. Bill Walker and is vice president and general counsel of Bering Straits Native Corporation. His experience is in finance, oil and gas, tax law, and now government. He was swept into office with Walker in 2014 and served as Attorney General for two years before quitting suddenly in 2016.
After leaving the Department of Law, Richards was appointed to the Board of Trustees, and reappointed for a four-year term in 2017, replacing Larry Cash.
After he left as Attorney General, Richards worked as a private attorney for a time, with a contract with the Governor’s Office that was worth $50,000.
In that role, he presented a plan to the Permanent Fund Trustees to buy the distressed oil tax credit debt of the State in a complicated arbitrage arrangement, after Gov. Bill Walker quit paying the oil tax credits that were due the small explorers.
The board panned the idea after listening to the Richards’ presentation, which would have had the Permanent Fund buying the tax credits at a discount, and then selling them to other buyers for a higher amount, thus making money by short-changing the companies that were owed.
Moran was first appointed to the board in 2006, and was reappointed in 2014 by Gov. Sean Parnell; he served as the vice-chair from 2007–2010 and as the chair since 2010.