By Dave Donaldson
The governor’s Senior Policy Advisor for Instate Gas has resigned from the administration following complaints about the timing over his taking the position. Gene Therriault had left the state senate to accept the position last fall.
When he left the legislature, Therriault was in the Senate representing a large area centered in North Pole. At the time, he was the Republican Minority Leader – previously he had been Senate President.
His chief function on the governor’s staff was to coordinate plans for supplying natural gas to the railbelt.
Complaints arose when the Attorney General suggested that a court might find a constitutional problem with his being a sitting member of the legislature when he accepted the job. The constitution requires a complete separation in the offices. Former House Rules Chair Nancy Dahlstrom resigned the position she had accepted under similar circumstances earlier this month.
In his letter of resignation, Therriault pointed to political turmoil generated by the governor’s detractors and saw it as a potential detriment to the governor.
He expressed confidence that a court would have ruled in his favor, but said he foresaw the questions would divert attention from the work he has been doing.
His resignation takes effect at the close of business next Monday.