Two Dunleavy picks decline offers after coming under fire

Policy advisor pick declines job offer after his social media sparks uproar

A commissioner designee resigned Thursday evening after his resume came into question earlier in the day.

John Quick, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s choice for Department of Administration commissioner, submitted his resignation Thursday, according to a press conference from Dunleavy’s office.

Dunleavy appointed Paula Vrana as acting commissioner of Administration, according to the governor’s announcement. Vrana is an attorney who joined the Department of Administration on Jan. 2, according to a letter from Dunleavy to Department of Administration employees.

Quick listed on his resume and stated during a Tuesday confirmation hearing that he owned a Washington business called Anthem Coffee & Tea/Elements Frozen Yogurt.

One of the registered owners of Anthem Coffee & Tea/Elements Frozen Yogurt, Janie Reynolds, wrote a letter to the Alaska Senate Joint Finance and State Affairs Committee stating that Quick never had any ownership in the business. The Washington State Department of Revenue website lists Reynolds as the co-owner, along with her husband Larry Reynolds.

Reynolds’ letter, which is dated Jan. 23, states that Quick was hired in July 2011 to “organize and structure” the business. Reynolds wrote that Quick was only with the company for a year as an employee and that he repeatedly asked for Reynolds to sign a contract that would make Quick a part owner. Reynolds denied each time, she wrote in the letter.

Quick issued a response to Reynolds’ claims, sending a letter of his own to the Alaska Senate Joint Finance and State Affairs Committee. In the letter, Quick explained that he entered into a verbal agreement with the Reynolds family in 2011 to be a part owner. Quick wrote that he and the Reynolds family created Anthem Coffee & Tea/Elements Frozen Yogurt, but that they parted ways in 2012.

Quick also admitted in the letter that he made an incorrect statement in his confirmation hearing in front of the joint committee. Sen. Bill Wielechowski, D-Anchorage, asked Quick specifically about the coffee shop, asking when Quick sold the business and to whom he sold it.

Quick responded by saying it was in 2014 and that he sold it to an unnamed high school friend. In his letter, Quick acknowledged he was incorrect about 2014 and that he should have clarified to Wielechowski that he did not sell the company.

Another Dunleavy pick drops out

Art Chance declined an offer to join the Dunleavy administration as a policy advisor within the Department of Administration, Thursday evening, according to a release from Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office. Chance was a former director of the Alaska Division of Labor Relations.

Chance ignited outrage from some Alaskans earlier this week as his Facebook activity came to light. Some of his posts contained crude language and insults directed at women, minorities and people he disagreed with.

Dunleavy was asked late Thursday evening to comment on the matter.

“This decision is for the best,” Dunleavy said in a press release.

Some members of the House Coalition responded to the news of Chance’s withdrawal on Friday.

“Political differences aside, those chosen to advise the Governor, Commissioners, and others in the administration, should exhibit strong character and sound judgment,” Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anchorage, said in press release. “Chance’s vile posts on Facebook exhibit a lack of judgment and questionable character.

“He has routinely threatened people with physical violence, and more than once threatened to sexually assault the loved ones of his critics. This is not acceptable behavior for anyone, especially from a senior policy advisor in an Administration which has pledged to reduce sexual assaults in Alaska.”


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Contact reporter Kevin Baird at 523-2258 or kbaird@juneauempire.com.


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