Mayor reimburses city for part of DC, Kenai trips

Nathaniel Herz

Mayor Dan Sullivan has paid the city $214 as reimbursement for time he spent at a pair of political fundraisers while on publicly funded trips.

Sullivan, who is running for lieutenant governor, said Tuesday that he had reimbursed the city on a pro-rated basis for part of the cost of two trips, to Washington D.C. and to the Kenai Peninsula.

Sullivan made the payment on Jan. 7, he said in an interview Tuesday. That was after an official with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, Heather Hebdon, contacted him to suggest that he reimburse the city.

Such payments are not required under the city's ethics code, but Sullivan said he reimbursed the city anyway, given that he's running for a statewide position.

"Heather Hebdon sent me the state statute, and her advice was that since you're running for statewide office, it's not a bad idea to go the extra mile," Sullivan said. "And so I did."

Sullivan's visit to Washington occurred in December. On that trip, he held a fundraiser at the offices of Blank Rome, a lobbying firm that's earned more than $400,000 working for the city since Sullivan took office in 2009.

On the other trip, which occurred in November, Sullivan spoke to the Soldotna and Kenai chambers of commerce in his official capacity, and also held a fundraiser for his campaign at a private residence.

Sullivan said he determined the reimbursement by calculating the percentage of each trip that he spent on the fundraisers.

He could not immediately give the total cost of both of the trips, but a spokeswoman previously said the city spent $3,270 on airfare and hotel for the Washington trip for Sullivan and two aides.


By Nathaniel Herz