Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205

04/13/2005 08:30 AM JUDICIARY

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08:38:22 AM Start
08:40:45 AM Confirmation Hearing: Attorney General: Mr. David Marquez
09:57:39 AM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Joint w/(H) Judiciary TELECONFERENCED
Attorney General Confirmation Hearing:
David Marquez
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
                         JOINT MEETING                                                                                        
               HOUSE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
              SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                         April 13, 2005                                                                                         
                           8:38 a.m.                                                                                            
SENATE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                        
Senator Ralph Seekins, Chair                                                                                                    
Senator Charlie Huggins, Vice Chair                                                                                             
Senator Gene Therriault                                                                                                         
Senator Hollis French                                                                                                           
Senator Gretchen Guess                                                                                                          
HOUSE MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                         
Representative Lesil McGuire, Chair                                                                                             
Representative Nancy Dahlstrom                                                                                                  
Representative Les Gara                                                                                                         
Representative Pete Kott                                                                                                        
Representative Tom Anderson                                                                                                     
Representative Max Gruenberg                                                                                                    
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
Attorney General Confirmation Hearing: Mr. David Marquez                                                                        
     CONFIRMATION HEARD AND HELD                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
No previous action                                                                                                              
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
Mr. David Marquez, Acting Deputy Attorney General                                                                               
Civil Division                                                                                                                  
Department of Law                                                                                                               
PO Box 110300                                                                                                                   
Juneau, AK  99811-0300                                                                                                          
POSITION STATEMENT:  Applicant for Attorney General                                                                           
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
CO-CHAIR  RALPH  SEEKINS  called   the  joint  Senate  and  House                                                             
Judiciary  Standing Committee  meeting  to order  at 8:38:22  AM.                                                             
Present  were Representatives  Nancy  Dahlstrom,  Les Gara,  Pete                                                               
Kott, Tom  Anderson, and Co-Chair Lesil  McGuire, Senators Hollis                                                               
French,  Charlie Huggins,  Gene  Therriault,  and Co-Chair  Ralph                                                               
   ^Confirmation Hearing: Attorney General: Mr. David Marquez                                                               
CO-CHAIR  SEEKINS  announced  that  the joint  Senate  and  House                                                               
Judiciary Standing Committee was  meeting to determine whether or                                                               
not to  forward the nomination  of David Marquez as  appointee to                                                               
be Attorney General for the State of Alaska.                                                                                    
8:40:45 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  CHARLIE  HUGGINS thanked  Mr.  Marquez  for his  veteran                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE TOM ANDERSON asked  Mr. Marquez how his experience                                                               
in  corporate  law  would  aide   him  in  the  attorney  general                                                               
MR. DAVID  MARQUEZ detailed the  start of  his legal career  in a                                                               
private  law firm.  In 1977  he  joined Arco  Alaska and  advised                                                               
heads of departments on Alaska  resources. He said he understands                                                               
the burdens and  importance of good staff work.  Gradually he was                                                               
given  more  responsibility  within  the  Arco  legal  department                                                               
including the management and supervision of lawyers.                                                                            
In the early  1990s he related that he became  general counsel of                                                               
Alyeska  Pipeline  Service Company,  which  provided  him with  a                                                               
first opportunity to  serve as a member of an  executive team. In                                                               
that capacity  he reported directly  to the president and  led an                                                               
entire  law   department.  During   that  time  he   managed  the                                                               
significant litigation that Alyeska faced.                                                                                      
He opined  that the aforementioned  experience would  be directly                                                               
relevant  because  as attorney  general  he  would provide  legal                                                               
advice to  the chief executive of  the state and the  cabinet. He                                                               
would  bear   ultimate  accountability  and   responsibility  for                                                               
managing the legal affairs of the State of Alaska.                                                                              
8:44:21 AM                                                                                                                    
He said he returned to work  for Arco Alaska as vice president of                                                               
external  affairs and  environmental  health and  safety. He  was                                                               
responsible  for  media,   government,  community  relations  and                                                               
safety  programs. During  that time,  he said,  he worked  on the                                                               
Alaska  Stranded Gas  Development Act  as a  member of  different                                                               
task forces.                                                                                                                    
Ultimately he  became head  counsel for  Arco Alaska,  which made                                                               
him a member of the executive  team. He reiterated that he held a                                                               
similar position with  Alyeska and that they are  equivalent to a                                                               
cabinet member serving the chief executive of the state.                                                                        
He expressed the  view that his corporate  experience is directly                                                               
relevant to the attorney general post.                                                                                          
8:46:04 AM                                                                                                                    
Senator Gretchen Guess joined the meeting.                                                                                      
REPRESENTATIVE  LES GARA  referred  to Mr.  Marquez's recent  job                                                               
with Conoco Phillips and asked how  he would address the issue of                                                               
selecting the company to build the Alaska Gas Pipeline.                                                                         
8:48:07 AM                                                                                                                    
MR.  MARQUEZ assured  the committee  his position  would override                                                               
past associations. He maintains an  ethical duty to represent his                                                               
client, which is now the State of Alaska.                                                                                       
CHAIR SEEKINS asked Mr. Marquez  the date he left employment with                                                               
the oil companies.                                                                                                              
MR. MARQUEZ answered December 2001.                                                                                             
CHAIR SEEKINS asked whether he remained on retainer.                                                                            
MR. MARQUEZ responded no.                                                                                                       
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA asked  Mr.  Marquez whether  he was  leaning                                                               
toward any of the three oil company applicants.                                                                                 
MR.  MARQUEZ said  the short  answer is  no. His  job will  be to                                                               
review  and  withhold  judgment   until  the  gas  cabinet  fully                                                               
evaluates the three.                                                                                                            
8:56:52 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  commented many people, including  the state,                                                               
believe   the   pipeline   owners  are   overcharging   for   the                                                               
transportation of Alaska oil.                                                                                                   
MR. MARQUEZ agreed. He said  his predecessor initiated efforts to                                                               
8:59:02 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HUGGINS voiced his support for Mr. Marquez.                                                                             
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  shared his concern about  when two democrats                                                               
were fired  when the  last administration came  in. He  asked Mr.                                                               
Marquez  whether  it  is  appropriate   to  consider  a  person's                                                               
politics when  deciding whether  a person should  work for  or be                                                               
retained by the Department of Law.                                                                                              
MR. MARQUEZ responded the utmost  value would be in their skills,                                                               
dedication,  and  experience. It  is  important  for an  attorney                                                               
general  to  lead  a  team  that would  provide  support  to  any                                                               
administration.  Certainly the  governor would  expect department                                                               
heads  to  hire a  team  that  would  be  the most  effective  in                                                               
promoting the goals of the governor.                                                                                            
9:02:19 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA  asked  Mr.  Marquez to  clarify  whether  a                                                               
person's politics are relevant to them performing a job.                                                                        
MR.  MARQUEZ stated  it  would have  some  relevance. A  person's                                                               
political affiliation is  important in the context  of building a                                                               
team  that  one can  work  with.  Cabinet members  are  political                                                               
appointees and one  would expect that they would  surround him or                                                               
her self with people they could trust.                                                                                          
9:04:06 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE commented  that what makes up  a political party                                                               
is a  set of values  and philosophies.  She asserted it  would be                                                               
difficult to have a staff with a different set of values.                                                                       
MR.  MARQUEZ  said  it  is  not his  intention  to  engage  in  a                                                               
political witch-hunt. He is impressed with the current team.                                                                    
9:06:26 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR HOLLIS  FRENCH urged that  all lawyers in  the Department                                                               
of Law should be judged solely by what they do on the clock.                                                                    
MR.  MARQUEZ  agreed  but  speculated  there  are  times  when  a                                                               
person's partisanship would be brought  into the office and could                                                               
affect his or her performance.                                                                                                  
9:09:26 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE GARA  expressed concern  and asked Mr.  Marquez to                                                               
clearly  state  whether he  would  consider  a person's  politics                                                               
above their performance.  He indicated there was  fear within the                                                               
DOL  concerning  this  issue  and  that  people  were  afraid  to                                                               
participate in the political process.                                                                                           
MR. MARQUEZ said all he is  concerned about is performance on the                                                               
job. Partisan activities  outside the job are  irrelevant so long                                                               
as it does not affect performance.                                                                                              
9:11:46 AM                                                                                                                    
CHAIR  SEEKINS  stated  that  a  supervisor  would  look  at  how                                                               
employees interact  with one other.  Politics can have  an affect                                                               
on an employee's performance.                                                                                                   
9:13:36 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  GENE THERRIAULT  asked  Mr. Marquez  how  he intends  to                                                               
interact with  opposing state and  federal issues such  as tribal                                                               
sovereignty issues.                                                                                                             
MR.  MARQUEZ   asserted  the  governor  is   generally  a  strong                                                               
proponent  of state's  rights  and is  engaged  in other  actions                                                               
against  the   federal  government.   He  would  look   at  every                                                               
opportunity to  make sure  Alaska government  is not  thwarted by                                                               
unnecessary federal intervention.                                                                                               
9:16:48 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT expressed concern  over the tribal sovereignty                                                               
MR. MARQUEZ  admitted he has  no experience in that  area. Tribal                                                               
sovereignty  is a  matter  of  federal law.  He  would expect  to                                                               
advocate for state sovereignty and  ask for the protection of all                                                               
9:19:47 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR THERRIAULT  understood that as  the top legal  advisor to                                                               
the  governor, Mr.  Marquez  would be  looking  for any  possible                                                               
erosion  of constitutional  protection  of  its citizens.  Indian                                                               
country does not exist in the  State of Alaska but he anticipates                                                               
that  the US  Congress  will eventually  take  action to  reverse                                                               
that. He asked Mr. Marquez his position on the subject.                                                                         
MR.  MARQUEZ  admitted  that  would be  a  large  departure  from                                                               
current law.  It would  require the US  Congress to  amend Indian                                                               
Country  definition in  federal  law and  the  overturning of  US                                                               
Supreme Court cases.                                                                                                            
9:25:57 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR GRETCHEN  GUESS asked Mr.  Marquez to share  his approach                                                               
to conflicts of interest.                                                                                                       
MR.  MARQUEZ  said  it  is  important  for  the  people  to  have                                                               
confidence  in  their  attorney general.  Ultimately  ethics  and                                                               
morality  is  an individual  matter.  The  ethics laws  could  be                                                               
improved and he is ready to work closely with the Legislature.                                                                  
9:27:44 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH agreed  there are deficiencies in  the Ethics Act.                                                               
He  asked whether  Mr.  Marquez had  a specific  view  on how  to                                                               
improve it.                                                                                                                     
MR. MARQUEZ  advised that  the DOL has  long examined  the Ethics                                                               
Act  and how  to  improve it.  They are  awaiting  action on  new                                                               
9:30:30 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether he  had a  view on a  dollar amount                                                               
concerning the investment threshold.                                                                                            
MR. MARQUEZ said he did not since the value of stocks fluctuate.                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH  asked whether  problems would  be avoided  if top                                                               
administrative officials put their assets in a blind trust.                                                                     
MR. MARQUEZ admitted that would  be appropriate particularly if a                                                               
high official  owned a lot of  stock in a smaller  company. It is                                                               
also important  to realize the difficultly  involved in acquiring                                                               
a blind trust.                                                                                                                  
9:35:29 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE  GARA said  it is  important  that government  not                                                               
tell  people  which parties  to  support.  He asked  whether  Mr.                                                               
Marquez thought  it inappropriate  in making  personnel decisions                                                               
to look at an applicants donation records.                                                                                      
MR. MARQUEZ answered it was  not inappropriate for an employer to                                                               
look at a person's complete background.                                                                                         
REPRESENTATIVE GARA asked Mr. Marquez  whether it was relevant to                                                               
consider an applicant or employee's politics outside of work.                                                                   
MR. MARQUEZ  responded he  could not draw  a clear  line. Outside                                                               
life can  have an impact.  What is important is  job performance.                                                               
He  could  not pledge  that  he  would  never look  at  someone's                                                               
partisan activities.                                                                                                            
9:39:57 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR  HUGGINS asked  Mr. Marquez  whether  there was  anything                                                               
about  his prior  relationship  with the  oil  industry that  the                                                               
Legislature should be aware of.                                                                                                 
MR. MARQUEZ responded no.                                                                                                       
SENATOR   HUGGINS  asked   whether  anything   in  his   business                                                               
investment  portfolio  might  cause  him to  be  exposed  in  the                                                               
MR. MARQUEZ replied he has no  interest in the oil companies. His                                                               
funds are  mostly in mutual funds  and bonds. He would  make sure                                                               
the  bonds  are not  from  municipalities  or other  entities  in                                                               
Alaska  and  that his  bond  manager  doesn't purchase  corporate                                                               
bonds from companies doing business in Alaska.                                                                                  
9:45:45 AM                                                                                                                    
REPRESENTATIVE MAX  GRUENBERG asked  Mr. Marquez to  describe how                                                               
he would resolve conflicts in the best interest of the state.                                                                   
MR.  MARQUEZ said  he has  been advising  executives most  of his                                                               
career  and would  weigh in  on whether  any action  is legal  or                                                               
REPRESENTATIVE  GRUENBERG said  he  is referring  to a  difficult                                                               
case where  the question  is a  value judgment.  He asked  how he                                                               
would advise  on two optional  legal courses of action  where one                                                               
might benefit the state and one might benefit a person.                                                                         
9:50:02 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MARQUEZ replied he would give  the advice to best interest of                                                               
the  state   and  forgo  any   actions  that  would   benefit  an                                                               
9:53:26 AM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR FRENCH  asked Mr.  Marquez to  discuss his  experience in                                                               
the criminal division of the DOL.                                                                                               
9:55:03 AM                                                                                                                    
MR. MARQUEZ said he is very  lucky to have the job as legislative                                                               
liaison  as it  provided him  valuable opportunity  to work  with                                                               
lawyers in both divisions.                                                                                                      
9:57:19 AM                                                                                                                    
CO-CHAIR MCGUIRE adjourned the joint meeting at 9:57:39 AM.                                                                   

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