Amanda Price, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, center, is surrounded by Department of Public Safety officials during a press conference on her confirmation to the position at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Amanda Price, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, center, is surrounded by Department of Public Safety officials during a press conference on her confirmation to the position at the Capitol on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)

Department of Public Safety commissioner resigns

Price is out.

By BECKY BOHRER

Associated Press

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office Friday said he had accepted the resignation of Amanda Price as state Public Safety commissioner.

A message seeking additional details was sent to a Dunleavy spokesperson. The brief release announcing the resignation said Dunleavy wished to “thank Price for moving the department forward during her tenure.”

Price was appointed commissioner in late 2018. In a Facebook post, she said her resignation was requested by Dunleavy’s chief of staff, Ben Stevens.

She said she believed she was removed for advocating for improved 911 dispatch services to rural communities and for a “recent personnel decision” she had made. She said she’s limited in what she can say on that issue.

She also expressed disappointment in Dunleavy.

Price, in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, said Stevens told her Dunleavy wants “to go in a different direction with Public Safety. When I asked what direction that might be, he had no answer.”

The Department of Public Safety website Friday showed the commissioner position as vacant. Kelly Howell, described in the release as a longtime department employee, was appointed by Dunleavy “to temporarily serve on special assignment” as the department head until a new commissioner is named. Commissioners are subject to legislative confirmation.

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