Legislature(2015 - 2016)CAPITOL 120
03/09/2015 01:00 PM JUDICIARY
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ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE March 9, 2015 1:04 p.m. MEMBERS PRESENT Representative Gabrielle LeDoux, Chair Representative Wes Keller, Vice Chair Representative Bob Lynn Representative Charisse Millett Representative Matt Claman Representative Max Gruenberg MEMBERS ABSENT Representative Neal Foster COMMITTEE CALENDAR ^CONFIRMATION HEARINGS: ^ALASKA SELECT COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATIVE ETHICS Dennis E. "Skip" Cook Herman Gene Walker, Jr. -CONFIRMATION(S) ADVANCED - PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION No previous action to record WITNESS REGISTER DENNIS E. "SKIP" COOK Fairbanks, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: As appointee to the position of the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, discussed his qualifications and answered questions. HERMAN WALKER Anchorage, Alaska POSITION STATEMENT: As appointee to the position of the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, discussed his qualifications and answered questions. ACTION NARRATIVE 1:04:25 PM CHAIR GABRIELLE LEDOUX called the House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting to order at 1:04 p.m. Representatives Keller, Lynn, Millett, Claman, Gruenberg, and LeDoux were present at the call to order. CONFIRMATION HEARINGS(S) ALASKA SELECT COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATIVE ETHICS 1:04:39 PM CHAIR LEDOUX announced that the only orders of business brought before the committee today are the appointments of Dennis E. "Skip" Cook and Herman Gene Walker, Jr., to the positions of the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics. [Packets contain biographical information on both appointees.] CHAIR LEDOUX advised the committee it would be hearing the qualification of these two individuals today and recommending that their names be referred to the Joint House and Senate for consideration. Chair LeDoux reminded the committee that its job is only to review the history and qualifications of these men. She stated there will be no vote for or against their confirmations in this committee. Committee members should feel free to ask questions as they arrive, but bear in mind that the committee is not voting on their qualifications, merely reviewing them, she highlighted. 1:05:53 PM DENNIS E. "SKIP" COOK, Fairbanks, Alaska, said that he is a retired attorney and was born in Fairbanks. He advised he has been on the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics since 1998 and he has enjoyed his service on the committee. He opined that the matters that come before it are difficult but are interesting and, he noted, it is useful for the committee to exert themselves to be available particularly for training and advisory work. He is willing to serve again, especially during the transition period because, he expressed, continuity is important to the committee. 1:07:02 PM CHAIR LEDOUX asked if there is anything in particular in his resume that he would like to point out to the committee. MR. COOK said he has a history of being available for public service and this is a role he has enjoyed filling. He further said that he has been active in the Boy Scouts of America. REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG noted that Mr. Cook held the honor of "Vigil, Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts of America in 2003," and remarked that it is a high honor as there are not many. 1:08:14 PM REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT related that during the past five years she has had an opportunity to serve with Mr. Cook on the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, and noted he was its past chairman. She described his service as "comfortable" when issues regarding co-workers are on the table, and admired his ability to keep the committee on task. 1:09:03 PM REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN noted Mr. Cook has retired and questioned if he had stopped all association, financial or otherwise, with his former firm. MR. COOK responded in the affirmative and explained there is a four year after retirement payment of a portion of fees received and earned during the time he was employed. He is no longer an owner or officer of the firm. CHAIR LEDOUX closed public testimony after ascertaining no one further wished to testify. 1:10:50 PM REPRESENTATIVE KELLER moved to forward the name of Dennis E. "Skip" Cook to the joint session of the House and Senate for confirmation. There being no objection, the confirmation of Dennis E. "Skip" Cook is advanced from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. 1:11:11 PM CHAIR LEDOUX announced that Herman Gene Walker, Jr.'s confirmation to the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics is next. 1:11:16 PM HERMAN WALKER advised he has been on the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics since 2002, and believes the committee performs a vital public service. He noted he had been debating as to whether to stay on the committee due to other "things" he would like to do, and decided to stay and at least see it through this transitional time with the new executive director. He opined that since being on the committee he now has an understanding and depth of knowledge that assists the committee in its endeavors. He expressed that it is not an easy job, reading the statutes and interpreting them to the best of their abilities, but is one that is very fulfilling. 1:12:32 PM CHAIR LEDOUX asked Mr. Walker if there is anything about his qualifications that he would like to highlight. 1:12:45 PM MR. WALKER opined that his resume speaks for itself, but he was not certain it was completely up-to-date as far as his past board memberships. 1:13:06 PM REPRESENTATIVE MILLETT advised she has served with Mr. Walker on the Alaska Select Committee on Legislative Ethics and that he offered "great" leadership. She described that Mr. Walker made serving on the committee "comfortable" in a sometimes uncomfortable area of speaking about co-workers. 1:14:03 PM REPRESENTATIVE GRUENBERG thanked Mr. Walker for his service on the committee and described Mr. Walker and Mr. Cook as great assets. 1:14:20 PM REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN added his thanks to Mr. Walker for stepping up and serving another round as his daughters not getting younger. CHAIR LEDOUX closed public testimony after ascertaining no one further wished to testify. 1:15:00 PM REPRESENTATIVE KELLER moved to forward the name of Herman Gene Walker, Jr., to the joint session of the House and Senate for confirmation. There being no objection, the confirmation of Herman Gene Walker, Jr., is advanced from the House Judiciary Standing Committee. 1:15:29 PM ADJOURNMENT There being no further business before the committee, the House Judiciary Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.