Jim Clark pleaded guilty today in U-S District Court in Anchorage to charges of federal Mail and Wire Fraud. Clark was former governor Frank Murkowski’s chief of staff. He’s accused of asking oil field services company VECO to pay for political polls and consultants during the 2006 gubernatorial campaign. As Frank Murkowski’s term of office neared an end, Clark was encouraging the governor to run for the job again. The court documents indicate that he approached VECO – asking the company to commission and pay for those early campaign expenses directly and to hide the actions from the public. The polls and consultant fees cost a total of $68,550 and were never reported to the Public Offices Commission.
Duncan Moon, APRN – Anchorage