The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Capitol Live: Quick resigns after accusations of lying on resume

Democratic leaders also concerned about Dunleavy’s budget

  • Thursday, January 24, 2019 10:22pm
  • News

9:20 p.m.

John Quick, the governor’s choice to be the commissioner of the Department of Administration, submitted his resignation Thursday night, according to a press release from Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office.

“I appreciate his willingness to serve the people of Alaska and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Dunleavy said in the release.

Dunleavy appointed Paula Vrana as acting commissioner of Administration, according to the governor’s announcement. Vrana is an attorney who joined the Department of Administration on Jan. 2, according to a letter from Dunleavy to Department of Administration employees.

The validity of Quick’s resume was put in question Thursday after a Washington business owner claimed Quick lied about an item on his resume. Quick’s resume claimed that he was the owner of a business called Anthem Coffee & Tea/Elements Frozen Yogurt.

Janie Reynolds, the registered co-owner of the business according to the Washington State Department of Revenue’s website, wrote a letter Wednesday to the Alaska Senate Joint Finance and State Affairs Committee explaining that Quick was never the owner or a part owner of the business. In a letter Thursday afternoon to the joint committee, Quick stated that there was a verbal agreement in place between him and the Reynolds family where he helped establish the company.

— Alex McCarthy

4:30 p.m.

Sen. Tom Begich said today he does not believe Art Chance, who was tagged for a policy formulation position within the Department of Administration, is qualified for the job.

Chance, who is a former director of the Alaska Department of Labor Relations, has come under scrutiny for his Facebook activity by some Alaskans. Some of his posts contain crude, sometimes aggressive insults toward women, minorities and people he disagrees with.

Begich, D-Anchorage, said certain government positions of respect and public service demand the “highest quality of people” to do the job.

“Mr. Chance’s comments about race, his comments about his misogyny these are really unacceptable of a state employee at any level but especially at the highest levels,” Begich said in an afternoon press conference. “He is a policy person selected to serve in our administration and I personally believe he is not qualified to do that based on those comments. They disqualify him.”

— Kevin Baird

4:15 p.m.

John Quick issued a response to Janie Reynolds’ letter, sending a note of his own to the chairs of the Senate Finance and Senate Affairs committees. In the letter, Quick explained that he entered into a verbal agreement with the Reynolds family in 2011. Quick wrote that he and the Reynolds family created Anthem Coffee & Tea/Elements Frozen Yogurt.

“As the businesses grew, it became clear that the verbal agreement I entered into was not going to materialize into a written agreement,” Quick wrote in his letter. “After numerous negotiations with the Reynolds family and much heartache for me and my family, we parted ways.”

Read the full story from earlier here.

Along with his letter, Quick attached scans of newspaper articles about him and Bryan Reynolds (Jamie’s son) starting the business.

Dunleavy Press Secretary Matt Shuckerow provided the letter and a brief statement to media members.

“We are looking forward to Commissioner Quick’s confirmation and his continued work on behalf of Alaskans,” Shuckerow said in the statement.

— Alex McCarthy

3:15 p.m.

Alaska Senate Democrats expressed their concern about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget, during an afternoon press conference.

Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, said he is encouraged by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s promises during the State of the State, but he is eagerly anticipating more details on the budget.

“I look forward to seeing his budget proposals. We heard a lot of tall promises from the governor. In the end we were short on details,” Begich said during press availability conference this afternoon. “In our committee hearings we’ve looked at some of the commissioners and asked them questions, we’re not getting details.”

He also noted that when Dunleavy unveiled the first part of his public safety package on Wednesday, he did not provide answers to how these bills would be funded.

The governor’s budget is due out on Feb. 13. Dunleavy has produced some budget numbers during Senate Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday. This presentation did not quell Sen. Donny Olson’s fears about impending budget cuts. Olson, D-Golovin, is a member of the Finance Committee. Olson said it’s usually rural residents like his constituents that are impacted by budget cuts.

“Let’s be honest. 80 to 85 percent of the state’s revenues come from the district I represent,” Olson said. “I watch that fair amount of visibility that is careful to make sure we are not getting the short end of the stick.”

— Kevin Baird

2:13 p.m.

Some strange developing news at the Capitol today. Department of Administration Commissioner Designee John Quick has been accused of fabricating part of his resume. Quick claimed on his resume — and in a confirmation hearing in front of a Senate Finance and State Affairs Committee on Tuesday — that he was the owner of a Washington cafe called Anthem Coffee & Tea/Elements Frozen Yogurt.

The registered co-owner of that cafe, Janie Reynolds, sent a letter Wednesday to the committee saying Quick was never an owner. Janie and her husband Larry hired Quick in 2011, only to fire him in 2012 after he didn’t fulfill “many promises to organize and bring better structure to our company,” she wrote in her letter.

The Legislature still has to approve Quick’s appointment as commissioner. Tuesday’s confirmation hearing was just to gather information and have the senators on the committee write a report of their thoughts on the designees.

Read our story here: Administration commissioner pick fabricated resume entry, business owner says

There will probably be more reactions coming, but Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, had strong words about this during a press conference this afternoon:

— Alex McCarthy

1:46 p.m.

After his presentation, Assembly member Loren Jones says to the Empire he thinks Vivian Stiver’s nomination to the board will be a “learning process” on working together.

“Every board, every assembly I’ve served on, we always get new members,” Jones says. “So you go through a learning process. So far in all the changes the governors have made on the board, we’ve done OK. We’ve learned to work together. We’ve learned, yeah, you disagree with me on that one, fine, we’ll still work through the process on the things we agree on.”

But some chamber members in the crowd who are in the industry were more than displeased about the nomination.

“We are very disappointed,” says Lacy Wilcox, co-owner of THC Alaska, a Juneau-based company that produces cannabis concentrates. “She’s a prohibitionist if I’ve ever seen one.”

— Mollie Barnes

Loren Jones speaks about marijuana to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce at its weekly luncheon at the Moose Lodge on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Loren Jones speaks about marijuana to the Juneau Chamber of Commerce at its weekly luncheon at the Moose Lodge on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

12:21 p.m.

Assembly member Loren Jones speaks about the Alaska Marijuana Control Board at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Moose Lodge.

Brandon Emmett is serving out his term until Feb. 28, says Jones. He briefly mentions that Vivian Stiver was recently nominated, but hasn’t gone into detail about what that means for the board.

To date, taxes from marijuana in Alaska have collected $17.2 million since they started collecting it in 2016.

“If you eliminate corporate taxes for oil and gas, marijuana and alcohol taxes exceed all other tax collected in the state of Alaska,” Jones says.

Read our story here: An ‘enemy of the industry’? Gov’s pick for state marijuana board surprises

— Mollie Barnes

12:15 p.m.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski speaks on the U.S. Senate Floor about ending the federal government shutdown.

Watch it live here.

— Mollie Barnes

9:30 a.m.

Correction: An earlier version of this article had the wrong location of the federal shutdown rally. It is outside of the Senators’ District Office, not the Capitol.

Here’s what’s happening today:

The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is giving at presentation at 9 a.m. in the Capitol Building.

There will be a rally protesting the federal shutdown outside of the Senators’ District Office at 800 Glacier Ave. at noon.

City and Borough of Juneau Assembly member Loren Jones is speaking about the Alaska Marijuana Control Board at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at the Moose Lodge at noon.

The Senate Democrats are holding a press conference at 1:30 p.m.

The Alaska Criminal Justice Commission is hosting a session focused on improving services and response for victims of crime in Alaska from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall.

—Mollie Barnes

8:56 a.m.

The raven could replace the willow ptarmigan as Alaska’s state bird. Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, filed legislation to bestow the top honor upon the raven.

Senate Bill 28 is short and to the point. It would amend Alaska statutes to read “The Common Raven (Corvus corax principalis) is the official bird of the state.”

The bill has been referred to the Senate State Affairs Committee.

— Kevin Baird

8:45 a.m.

The House and Senate chambers will be quiet Thursday. Neither of the legislative bodies have scheduled floor sessions.

The House is scheduled to gavel in at 10 a.m. Friday, and the Senate session will begin at 10:30 a.m.

— Kevin Baird

Capitol Live: Quick resigns after accusations of lying on resume
Senate Democratic Leader Tom Begich, D-Anchorage,right, listens to Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, during a Senate Democrat Caucus press conference on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Senate Democratic Leader Tom Begich, D-Anchorage,right, listens to Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, during a Senate Democrat Caucus press conference on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Department of Administration Commissioner Designee John Quick, left, speaks with senators after talking to the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

Department of Administration Commissioner Designee John Quick, left, speaks with senators after talking to the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

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