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3 Officials Accused of Failing to Disclose Gifts

By | August 29, 2014

Three Kenai Peninsula residents have filed complaints with the Alaska Public Offices Commission against statewide public officials for failure to disclose gifts.

The three complaints were all filed August 25th with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, or APOC.

They were filed against Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell, Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell, and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, Ed Fogels.

Homer resident Elaine Chalup filed the complaint against Fogels. It states that in 2013, he failed to report attending the Kenai River Classic and accepting numerous gifts from the Kenai River Sportfishing Association, or KRSA. The Classic is a fundraising event for fisheries education, research, and management.

Fogels says he did report the attendance and gifts, but not to APOC.

“I did disclose it internally, with our departmental ethics process, to our ethics officer. That was filed with the Department of Law. So, it was all in the open,” Fogels says. “I did not realize I was also supposed to file that with APOC, so that was my mistake.”

He says he’s already taken steps to rectify the problem.

“As soon as the complaint was originally filed on me, I called APOC to find out and verify and I found out that I had made a mistake. I went back right away and amended my APOC filing for 2013.”

According to the KRSA financial disclosure forms for that year, Fogels was given a gift estimated at $6. That’s the estimate for a pair of gloves. Other items KRSA gave out included a shirt, a baseball cap, a jacket, and a gear bag. In total, they are worth about $162. But, KRSA notes that promotional items with KRSA’s name on them do not count as gifts, so that reduces the gift amount to just the $6 pair of gloves.

Fogels’ disclosed gifts came to a much higher dollar value.

“My disclosure for 2013 was that the total value of the gifts were for $565 and the gift was for meals, and the fishing down there to participate in the event.”

Another Homer resident, Garland Blanchard, filed the complaint against Commissioner Campbell. According to the filing documents, Blanchard shares a PO Box with Chalup. The complaint states that in 2011, Campbell failed to report attending the Classic or accepting numerous gifts. KRSA discloses Campbell received a gift estimated at five dollars, which was the cost of the pair of gloves in that year. Campbell was unable to be reached for comment by deadline. Her office stated she is out of the office for a few days.

Kasilof resident Benjamin Clare filed the complaint against Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell. It states that Treadwell failed to report his daughter attended the Classic in 2013, failed to report the gifts she accepted, and failed to report the waived entry fee of $5,000.

According to Treadwell’s financial disclosure documents, he reported a gift in the $250-1000 range.

Treadwell was approached for comment. He declined to speak on tape, but said he would be requesting that the complaint be dismissed and said it is not valid and is groundless.

Treadwell, Campbell,and Fogels have until Sept. 11 to file their responses.

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