The Alaska Permanent Fund Corp. has reversed a decision made earlier this month to hire Juneau City Tourism Director Maria Gladziszewski as its communications director.
Gladziszewski will continue at her job as city tourism director and said she accepts the decision.
"It's really within the prerogative of the executive director to hire whomever he wishes through whatever process," Gladziszewski said. "It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that he'd want to (wait) given that the new (board) appointments are expected soon."
The communications director position pays $74,000 a year. Jim Kelly, the former communications director, resigned to pursue other options.
Political observers speculated that the decision was made at the request of Gov. Frank Murkowski, but the administration has declined to comment.
Murkowski spokesman John Manly deferred all questions to the Permanent Fund Corp. and when asked if the administration gave directions to not hire Gladziszewski, Manly said: "I can't comment on that."
Bob Bartholomew, chief operating officer for the corporation, said 28 people applied for the position, but only seven made it onto the call-back list.
Finalists included: Gladziszewski; Mary Gore, who is Murkowski's niece; Joan Cahill; John Greely; Charles Northrip; Bruce Scandling and Kevin Sweeney.
Bartholomew said Executive Director Bob Storer decided to wait until recently vacated board seats for the Permanent Fund Corp. are filled before picking a new communications director.
He said all applications would be given a second review once board members are picked.
Board members are appointed by Murkowski.
Murkowski already has assigned Revenue Commissioner Bill Corbus to the board to replace Wilson Condon, but three seats remain unfilled.
Seats that were held by Janie Leask, Jim Sampson and Bruce Botelho still must be filled.
When asked whether the administration played a part in the decision to not hire Gladziszewski, Bartholomew said: "All I can say ... all I've been involved in, is that the executive director made the decision."
Storer was unavailable for comment.
Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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