New Permanent Fund chair: Craig Richards

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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.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Every one of us needs to be working on the Mike Dunleavy campaign every day. We need to bring back good, honest Alaskans to state boards and commissions. Bill Walker, a sleazy and widely discredited attorney has attracted similar people to government.

  2. The man’s career track record, as presented here, displays a lack of morals in business dealings reminiscent of the morals that led to the Wall Street meltdown and all its shenanigans. Thank you, Suzanne, for presenting more facts than spin; no wonder the Walker administration is trying to put the stops to you and MustReadAlaska!

  3. I attended the Permanent Fund Corporariom Trustee meeting both days. I was one of three from the public who attended. No lawmakers or their staffers were present. No media was present. Hugh Short, the Vice Chair of the Alaska Gasline Development attended day two of the PFC trustee meeting. The Governor has set the table.

  4. I don’t usually respond to these things because it seems pointless. However, I feel the need to pipe up because, unlike the commenters here, I actually know him and can vouch for his integrity, as I was married to him. I don’t think I need to comment on his intelligence because his education and experience speak to his intellect. What I will tell you is he is a man of great honesty and integrity. He has one of the strongest moral compasses I’ve ever seen.

    Craig once got into a disagreement with our friend who argued that it was okay to get a free refill on a drink when “No free refills” was clearly posted. Craig viewed this as stealing.

    If Craig didn’t keep meticulous track of someone’s hours while he was in private practice, he would undercharge or not charge. And he often gave free legal advice to anyone who asked.

    I would ask him to save receipts for his business expenses so he could submit them, but he would not. In addition, he would almost always have me, much to my annoyance, pick him up from the airport, even though he could have been reimbursed for many things. In his own words, he never liked to “nickel and dime” people or clients.

    When I would visit Craig after hours while he worked in the office he and Bill shared, he would not let me take any of the snacks that were meant for the office staff, even though I KNOW Bill would not have minded.

    He once made fun of me for trying to use two coupons at a restaurant. His response was, “Why don’t you just ask them to give you money out of the cash register!”

    Craig strongly believes in doing “what is right,” even if it isn’t what is convenient or beneficial to him or those he cares about. Despite having different political views from Craig, he taught me what it means to have REAL integrity. And I know Bill to be a man of great ethics, too.

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