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					Andrée McLeod
Anchorage, Alaska
December 3, 2009
Attorney General Office
1031 W. 4th Avenue, Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501-1994
To Attorney General Sullivan:
Please consider this letter as an Ethics Complaint charging current and former governor’s office
employees Mike Nizich, Randy Ruaro, Kris Perry, Rhonda McBride, Bill McAllister, Shelley James,
Linda Perez and Mark Kelsey with violations of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act (Alaska
Statute, Title 39, Chapter 52) (AEBEA), stating as follows:
Sec. 39.52.120. Misuse of official position.
(b) A public officer may not
 (6) use or authorize the use of state funds, facilities, equipment, services, or another government
asset or resource for partisan political purposes; this paragraph does not prohibit use of the
governor's residence for meetings to discuss political strategy and does not prohibit use of state aircraft
or the communications equipment in the governor's residence so long as there is no charge to the state
for the use; in this paragraph, "for partisan political purposes"
    (A) means having the intent to differentially benefit or harm a
        (i) candidate or potential candidate for elective office; or
        (ii) political party or group;
    (B) but does not include having the intent to benefit the public interest at large through the normal
    performance of official duties.
The Alaska Ethics Branch Ethics Act declares that:
(1) high moral and ethical standards among public officers in the executive branch are essential to
assure the trust, respect, and confidence of the people of this state;
(2) a code of ethics for the guidance of public officers will:
    (A) discourage those officers from acting upon personal or financial interests in the performance of
    their public responsibilities;
    (B) improve standards of public service; and
    (C) promote and strengthen the faith and confidence of the people of this state in their public
    officers;
(3) holding public office or employment is a public trust and that as one safeguard of that trust, the
people require public officers to adhere to a code of ethics;
(4) a fair and open government requires that executive branch public officers conduct the public's
business in a manner that preserves the integrity of the governmental process and avoids conflicts of
interest;
(5) in order for the rules governing conduct to be respected both during and after leaving public
service, the code of ethics must be administered fairly without bias or favoritism;
(6) no code of conduct, however comprehensive, can anticipate all situations in which violations may
occur nor can it prescribe behaviors that are appropriate to every situation; in addition, laws and
regulations regarding ethical responsibilities cannot legislate morality, eradicate corruption, or
eliminate bad judgment; and
(7) compliance with a code of ethics is an individual responsibility; thus all who serve the state have a
solemn responsibility to avoid improper conduct and prevent improper behavior by colleagues and
subordinates.
                                                                                                         1
The Scope of the Alaska Ethics Branch Ethics Act states:
…standards of ethical conduct for members of the executive branch need to distinguish between those
minor and inconsequential conflicts that are unavoidable in a free society, and those conflicts of
interests that are substantial and material.
In addition, the Department of Administration emailed out the following notices regarding prohibitions
related to political activity on state property while on the clock. (Complete texts are attached below):
 Sent February 29, 2008 to SOA All Employees Executive Branch, subject “State email use”
 Sent July 30, 2008 to SOA All Employees Executive Branch, subject “Political Activity by State Employees”
 Sent October 29, 2008 to SOA All Employees Executive Branch, subject “Political Activity by State
 Employees”

Even though these governor’s office staffers received these notices that spell out the prohibitions of
political activity and state email use, they still used state time, property and resources to benefit the
McCain/Palin campaign’s partisan political interests unrelated to state business. They still improperly
used state resources to serve the 2008 McCain/Palin campaign’s interests and not the public’s interests.
They still conducted partisan political activities that benefited the McCain/Palin campaign’s partisan
political interests and not the interests of Alaska and its people.
The directive from Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Annette Kreitzer is clear:
 State employees are prohibited from using the state e-mail system or using other state equipment,
 including fax machines, telephones, computers, or copiers, for partisan political purposes. However,
 if you receive such a message, you may respond that Alaska law forbids your use of state
 equipment for partisan political purposes and ask that the sender not send you further messages
 concerning campaign activities.
Attached are the official SOA email communications from the governor’s office that speak to the
collaboration between the McCain/Palin campaign and each other as partisan political campaign
activities are conducted while on the clock. Although Nizich and Perry took personal leave while
attending the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul last September, they used state
resources for political campaign purposes. It appears that Commissioner Kreitzer’s directive, as well as
the AEBEA, wasn’t entirely adhered to by governor’s office staff.
Public records requests from the McCain/Palin campaign were given priority status and responded to
immediately, while similar requests from members of the public and media were disparately delayed
for weeks on end. Perez stuck to the AK Public Records Act’s 10-business day waiting period and
then typically followed up with another 10-day extension before fulfilling most public record requests;
while it appears that information requests by the McCain/Palin campaign were processed within hours.
Based on these facts Mike Nizich, Randy Ruaro, Kris Perry, Rhonda McBride, Bill McAllister, Shelley
James, Linda Perez and Mark Kelsey violated the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. I’m certain you
will agree that the attached documents are substantial and material.
I’m requesting my complaint be investigated in as fair and unbiased a manner as possible. For
the record, I’m prompted to file this complaint for exactly the same reason that every one of my
other complaints have been filed with your department: solely for the reason of upholding ethical
standards and protecting the integrity of state actions and state resources. To think otherwise is
to abridge my rights as an Alaskan and American, among other things.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns.
Sincerely,
Andrée McLeod
                                                                                                             2
From: Pearson, Robert L (DOA) [mailto:robert.pearson@alaska.gov]
Sent: Monday, September 28, 2009 2:35 PM
Cc: Kreitzer, Annette E (DOA); Brooks, Kevin A (DOA); Perez, Linda J (GOV); Jones, David T (LAW)
Subject: Your Public Records Request of Sep. 16. 2009

Dear Ms. McLeod:
I am responding on behalf of the State of Alaska Department of Administration to your
public records request, sent by email on September 16, 2009 to Commissioner Kreitzer, for
“copies of all emails that were mailed out by the Department of Administration and the
Governor’s Office to all employees in the 2008 calendar year that reminds all state
employees about prohibitions of campaign activities within the workplace and their
associations with the prohibitions set forth in the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.” The
full text of your request is at the bottom of this emailed response.
Three emails sent by the Department of Administration were identified that are responsive
to your request:
Sent February 29, 2008 to SOA All Employees Executive Branch, subject “State email use”
Sent July 30, 2008 to SOA All Employees Executive Branch, subject “Political Activity by
State Employees”
Sent October 29, 2008 to SOA All Employees Executive Branch, subject “Political Activity by
State Employees”
The text of all three follows, including header information.
Please contact me by email or at the number below if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
Robert Pearson
Robert Pearson
Special Assistant
Alaska Department of Administration
(907) 465-5671
FAX: 465-2135
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Commissioners Office, DOA (DOA sponsored)
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 2:16 PM
To: SOA All Employees Executive Branch
Subject: State email use
Dear State Employee,

The 2008 election is approaching and political activity is increasing.

Some of you may have received e-mail partisan political messages soliciting your response. State
employees are prohibited from using the state e-mail system or using other state equipment,
including fax machines, telephones, computers, or copiers, for partisan political purposes. However,
if you receive such a message, you may respond that Alaska law forbids your use of state equipment
for partisan political purposes and ask that the sender not send you further messages concerning
campaign activities. This same prohibition applies to sending email messages regarding legislation.
If you are expressing your support or opposition to a bill under consideration by the Legislature,
remember to send those messages from your home email address and your personal computer.


                                                                                                                    3
Displaying partisan web sites or email messages and the wearing political buttons and t-shirts while
at work is prohibited and may be a violation of the Executive Branch Ethics Act in addition to
specific personnel statutes.

As a reminder, here are the rights and restrictions applicable to employee political activities:

Alaska Statute 39.25.178 provides that a state employee may:

(1) be a member of a national, state, or local political party;

(2) take part in a political campaign;

(3) express political opinions; however, while engaged on official business, a state employee may not
display or distribute partisan political material;

(4) register party preference;

(5) serve as a voting or nonvoting delegate to a party convention;

(6) be appointed, nominated, or elected to nonpartisan public office in a local government unit; and

(7) make contributions to a political party or a candidate for public office.

Alaska Statute 39.25.160 states certain restrictions:

(1) a classified employee may not take an active part in the management of a political party above
the precinct level;

(2) a person may not require an assessment, subscription, contribution, or service for a political
party from a state employee;

(3) a person may not seek or attempt to use a political party endorsement in connection with an
appointment or promotion in the classified service;

(4) an employee in the classified or partially exempt service who seeks nomination or becomes a
candidate for state or national elective office must immediately resign any position held in state
service. The employee's position becomes vacant on the date the employee files a declaration of
candidacy for state or national elective office. (This provision also applies to many employees in the
exempt service. Exempt employees should consult AS 39.25.160(e).)

(5) action affecting the employment status of an employee in the classified service (or an applicant
for a position in the classified service), including appointment, promotion, demotion, suspension, or
removal, may not be taken or withheld on the basis of unlawful discrimination due to political
beliefs;

(6) a state employee, whether in the classified, partially exempt, or exempt service, may not
campaign on behalf of a political candidate on government time.

As explicit as these provisions are, they do not replace good judgment in your daily conduct of state
business. They also may not cover every possible situation. Employees are encouraged to seek
guidance from their supervisors if questions arise.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

                                                                                                         4
Annette Kreitzer
Commissioner
Department of Administration
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


From: Commissioners Office, DOA (DOA sponsored)
Sent: Wednesday, July 30, 2008 10:29 AM
To: SOA All Employees Executive Branch
Subject: Political Activity by State Employees
Dear State Employee,

The 2008 primary elections are quickly approaching and political activity is increasing.

Some of you may have received e-mail partisan political messages soliciting your response. State employees
are prohibited from using the state e-mail system or using other state equipment, including fax machines,
telephones, computers, or copiers, for partisan political purposes. However, if you receive such a message, you
may respond that Alaska law forbids your use of state equipment for partisan political purposes and ask that the
sender not send you further messages concerning campaign activities.

Displaying partisan web sites or email messages and wearing or displaying political buttons and t-shirts while at
work is also prohibited and may be a violation of the Executive Branch Ethics Act in addition to specific
personnel statutes.

As a reminder, here are the rights and restrictions applicable to employee political activities:

Alaska Statute 39.25.178 provides that a state employee may:

(1) be a member of a national, state, or local political party;

(2) take part in a political campaign;

(3) express political opinions; however, while engaged on official business, a state employee may not display
or distribute partisan political material;

(4) register party preference;

(5) serve as a voting or nonvoting delegate to a party convention;

(6) be appointed, nominated, or elected to nonpartisan public office in a local government unit; and

(7) make contributions to a political party or a candidate for public office.

Alaska Statute 39.25.160 states certain restrictions:

(1) a classified employee may not take an active part in the management of a political party above the precinct
level;

(2) a person may not require an assessment, subscription, contribution, or service for a political party from a
state employee;

(3) a person may not seek or attempt to use a political party endorsement in connection with an appointment
or promotion in the classified service;



                                                                                                                                                      5
(4) an employee in the classified or partially exempt service who seeks nomination or becomes a candidate for
state or national elective office must immediately resign any position held in state service. The employee's
position becomes vacant on the date the employee files a declaration of candidacy for state or national elective
office. (This provision also applies to many employees in the exempt service. Exempt employees should
consult AS 39.25.160(e).)

(5) action affecting the employment status of an employee in the classified service (or an applicant for a
position in the classified service), including appointment, promotion, demotion, suspension, or removal, may not
be taken or withheld on the basis of unlawful discrimination due to political beliefs;

(6) a state employee, whether in the classified, partially exempt, or exempt service, may not campaign on
behalf of a political candidate on government time.

As explicit as these provisions are, they do not replace good judgment in your daily conduct of state business.
They also may not cover every possible situation. Employees are encouraged to seek guidance from their
supervisors if questions arise.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Annette Kreitzer
Commissioner
Department of Administration

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Commissioners Office, DOA (DOA sponsored)
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 12:08 PM
To: SOA All Employees Executive Branch
Subject: Political Activity by State Employees


Dear State Employee,
The 2008 general election is less than a week away and political activity is increasing.
Some of you may have received e-mail partisan political messages soliciting your response. State employees
are prohibited from using the state e-mail system or using other state equipment, including fax machines,
telephones, computers, or copiers, for partisan political purposes. However, if you receive such a message, you
may respond that Alaska law forbids your use of state equipment for partisan political purposes and ask that the
sender not send you further messages concerning campaign activities.
Displaying partisan web sites or email messages and wearing or displaying political buttons and t-shirts while at
work is also prohibited and may be a violation of the Executive Branch Ethics Act in addition to specific
personnel statutes.
As a reminder, here are the rights and restrictions applicable to employee political activities:
Alaska Statute 39.25.178 provides that a state employee may:
(1) be a member of a national, state, or local political party;
(2) take part in a political campaign;
(3) express political opinions; however, while engaged on official business, a state employee may not display
or distribute partisan political material;
(4) register party preference;
(5) serve as a voting or nonvoting delegate to a party convention;
(6) be appointed, nominated, or elected to nonpartisan public office in a local government unit; and
(7) make contributions to a political party or a candidate for public office.
Alaska Statute 39.25.160 states certain restrictions:

                                                                                                                  6
(1) a classified employee may not take an active part in the management of a political party above the precinct
level;
(2) a person may not require an assessment, subscription, contribution, or service for a political party from a
state employee;
(3) a person may not seek or attempt to use a political party endorsement in connection with an appointment
or promotion in the classified service;
(4) an employee in the classified or partially exempt service who seeks nomination or becomes a candidate for
state or national elective office must immediately resign any position held in state service. The employee's
position becomes vacant on the date the employee files a declaration of candidacy for state or national elective
office. (This provision also applies to many employees in the exempt service. Exempt employees should
consult AS 39.25.160(e).)
(5) action affecting the employment status of an employee in the classified service (or an applicant for a
position in the classified service), including appointment, promotion, demotion, suspension, or removal, may not
be taken or withheld on the basis of unlawful discrimination due to political beliefs;
(6) a state employee, whether in the classified, partially exempt, or exempt service, may not campaign on
behalf of a political candidate on government time.
As explicit as these provisions are, they do not replace good judgment in your daily conduct of state business.
They also may not cover every possible situation. Employees are encouraged to seek guidance from their
supervisors if questions arise.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Sincerely,
Annette Kreitzer
Commissioner
Department of Administration

###




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