It appears Commissioner Cotten is using APOC records on individual campaign donations to identify ADF&G employees who donated to Parnell. As of late, several such classified employees have been fired. Legal political donations are not normally a firing offense so for a classified employee to be cut there must be cause. I'm curious to know what said cause could be? Of course, supervisors, directors and their deputies are exempt or partially exempt employees and serve at the pleasure of the Governor and can be fired for any reason, but if this is true and rank and file state employees are being ousted for a campaign donation that is wrong. Classified employees are supposed to be protected from such politically motivated firing.
State Senator Cathy Giessel is now on record challenging Cotten's actions. The following is a direct CnP of excerpts of a letter she sent him (sorry I don't have the PDF)
"In a letter sent to you on January 19th, I noted the departure of an exemplary Department employee and Alaskan. I also expressed hope that this was not a harbinger of the direction the Department was heading with respect to its stance on issues with federal authorities. Your follow up was greatly appreciated, as were the multiple occasions you testified before the Senate Resources Committee, expressly stating the state's role in vigorous management of our resources.
"It was based on those commitments that I voted to confirm you in your role as Commissioner.
"Personnel decisions equate to directions of policy. Since the end of the regular session, my office has received news of a steady stream of personnel changes. Some of these are naturally part of a transition in any Department. However, when those replacements are overwhelmingly from the conservation advocacy sector, I take note.
"Organizations such as Oceana have a track record of, through good intentions, significantly hampering the development of our state's resources...Now, several individuals who worked for this injunction industry are in the Department of Fish and Game, taking the place of respected professionals...
"It is my sincere hope that the arrival of individuals, who have dedicated a part of their lives in an antagonistic relationship with the State of Alaska, is not a reflection of a new philosophy in policy on the part of the Department..."
It seems the new administration is pushing certain people out and replacing them with activists who have a decidedly "anti" bent.
FYI: The following is from another source that did not cite the source. I do not know who sent this memo
An internal Fish and Game memo:
“I am pleased to announce that Chris Krenz is joining the Division of Wildlife Conservation as the Fish and Game Coordinator/Wildlife Diversity Program Leader. Chris is coming to us from Oceana’s office in Juneau, where he was the Arctic Campaign Manager and Senior Scientist. At Oceana, he helped lead efforts to mitigate impacts from rapid climate change, ocean acidification, and the expansion of industrial activities. Chris has over 20 years of years of wildlife research and environmental policy experience, including nearly a decade of work in Alaska. Chris received his doctorate from the Department of Zoology at Oregon State University studying marine community ecology. He has worked with Arctic communities and others to gather and synthesize wildlife, subsistence use, and other information to inform management decisions. We are pleased to have Chris join the division in mid-August and bring new perspectives and expertise to our wildlife team. Chris is an avid fisherman and hunter and he lives in Juneau.”
Chris Krenz was Oceana's Alaska lead on the Shell/Chuchki protest.
I'm curious to see what other changes are in store and how this will affect department policy towards public use of public F&G resources.