John Quick, Republican Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy’s Department of Administration commissioner, has resigned from his position after a former employer penned a letter accusing him of lying during his confirmation hearing with the Alaska Senate on Tuesday.
Quick had held the position since Dunleavy took office in December, but needed a majority of the Legislature to be permanently confirmed to the position.
“Though I strongly refute some of the claims made against me over the last 48 hours, I do not want to become a distraction to your agenda and the positive work you are doing on behalf of Alaskans,” he wrote. “As a result, I will resign my post as Commissioner Designee of the Department of Administration effective immediately.”
He was in front of a joint meeting of the Senate Finance and State Affairs committees, where legislators dug into his employment history but didn’t reveal any inconsistencies at the time. The committee, chaired by Republicans, did not take any public testimony.
That came later in a letter from Washington business owner Janie Reynolds, who accused Quick of lying to the committee about his ownership and involvement with the launch of a coffee shop and a frozen yogurt shop in Puyallup, Wash. Quick had told the committee he was a co-owner and investor in the businesses, telling the committee he sold his stake in the company to a high school friend in 2014 (though he declined to identify his business partners).
“I would like to make it known that Larry and Janie Reynolds have been the only owners of Anthem Coffee & Tea and Elements Frozen Yogurt,” Reynolds wrote. “No one else has had any percentage of ownership. The ‘private party’ he speaks of is fictitious.”
Quick denied the accusations, sending a letter to legislators apologizing for “incorrect information” in his testimony to legislators. His letter didn’t, however, address concerns about his credibility raised in a separate report that suggested he had lied about receiving a MBA from Wayland Baptist University in Texas.
Quick claimed to have received the degree after attending the university for two years, but the school’s registrar told Alaska’s Energy Desk that he had attended for about nine months and didn’t graduate.
Dunleavy has appointed Paula Vrana as the acting commissioner for the Department of Administration.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Quick’s resignation isn’t the only member of the Dunleavy’s Department of Administration to call it quits on Thursday night. Art Chance, who had been picked as a special adviser in the department, also resigned after a series of social media posts were published by The Alaska Landmine. The ADN summarized Chance as having “a history of vulgar, vitriolic and misogynistic posts on social media.”