Members of the Juneau delegation are seeking answers from the Parnell administration about why the position of director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation was moved from Juneau to Anchorage.
Fish and Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd recently demoted the director of the division, and named Corey Rossi of Anchorage as new director. He then said Rossi would be based in Anchorage.
Lloyd refused tell the Empire why the position was being relocated, and the letter from Sen. Dennis Egan and Rep. Beth Kerttula, both Juneau Democrats, said they'd been unable to find out a reason for the move either.
"Locating this important position in Juneau appears to have served your department well for nearly 20 years, and so far, we have heard no convincing explanation as to how this move will enhance the management of Alaska's wildlife," the two Democrats wrote. "Perhaps one will be forthcoming."
They also requested information about the relocation of the currently vacant assistant commissioner position to Juneau. It was held by Rossi until last week. They noted that the loss of a division director for a vacant position was a "bad bargain" for the city and operational efficiency of state government.
"We look forward to a more detailed and comprehensive rationale for moving the Wildlife Conservation director to Anchorage and the vacant Assistant Commissioner position to Juneau," they wrote.
At the same time, Rep. Cathy Muñoz, R-Juneau, wrote her own letter seeking similar answers. She also has requested a meeting with Gov. Sean Parnell when he returns to Juneau.
She, too, was surprised by the sudden reassignments within Fish and Game, and questioned why Juneau's legislators weren't told about the change.
"I've asked for an explanation," Muñoz said. "I think its very important to contact the affected lawmakers and let them know what's going on."
Muñoz said she was also troubled by the demotion of previous director Doug Larsen, who has been reassigned to be the Southeast regional director.
"I'm concerned because the individual replaced was very professional and has an excellent background in fish and game management," she said. "I also asked (the state) to go to work with me to identify jobs that have been relocated under the previous administration that are able to be relocated back to Juneau," she said.
Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 586-4816 or firstname.lastname@example.org.