Walker appoints former Attorney General to Permanent Fund Corporation’s board

Gov. Bill Walker, right, and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott listen to Attorney General Craig Richards as he presents information to lawmakers at a Q&A session with the Governor and key cabinet members to discuss legislator’s plans for reorganizing the Permanent Fund, April 20, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

A man who helped craft a plan to use Permanent Fund earnings to fund state government, has been appointed to the Permanent Fund Corporation’s board.

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Gov. Bill Walker appointed Craig Richards to the board on Dec. 28.

The board is responsible for setting policy for the corporation. Board members are appointed by the governor. With Richards’ appointment, five of its six members are Walker appointees.

Richards is currently the vice president and general counsel for the Bering Straits Native Corporation. He was also the state’s Attorney General until June of 2016 when he abruptly resigned that post.

Walker credits Richards with helping to develop the Permanent Fund Protection Act. That proposal is currently in front of the legislature. It would use Permanent Fund earnings to fund state government and cap the dividend program.

Richards was previously on the Permanent Fund Corporation board from 2015 to 2016.

He will take over the seat that was held by Larry Cash.

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Rashah McChesney is a photojournalist turned radio journalist who has been telling stories in Alaska since 2012. Before joining Alaska's Energy Desk , she worked at Kenai's Peninsula Clarion and the Juneau bureau of the Associated Press. She is a graduate of Iowa State University's Greenlee Journalism School and has worked in public television, newspapers and now radio, all in the quest to become the Swiss Army knife of storytellers.

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