AIDEA’s CEO to resign, state-owned corporation says

The head of Alaska’s state-owned development corporation will resign May 8, a corporation official said Thursday.

Tom Boutin has been CEO and executive director of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority since February 2019. The reasons for his resignation were not disclosed.

Asked for a copy of Boutin’s resignation letter, AIDEA external affairs director Karsten Rodvik said it is “a confidential personnel matter” and declined to release it.

Reached by phone, Boutin declined comment and said the corporation should speak.

AIDEA’s chief investment officer, Alan Weitzner, will serve as interim executive director while the board searches for a permanent director, the corporation said.

Boutin’s departure comes less than two weeks after Gov. Mike Dunleavy said the corporation would administer a portion of $300 million in aid for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The corporation is simultaneously managing a loan-guarantee program intended to aid affected businesses.

Boutin was a key figure earlier this year as the Alaska Legislature investigated a no-bid contract awarded to the grandson of a major campaign contributor to a group that backed Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s election. AIDEA hired Clark Penney to work with the Alaska Department of Commerce. Penney terminated his own contract in March after members of the Legislature raised questions about his hiring.

Boutin, himself a deputy treasurer in the governor’s election campaign, said he did not consult with the governor about the Penney contract.

Under Boutin’s leadership, AIDEA continued its investment in the controversial Ambler Road project and is supporting efforts to extend the road network in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. He was paid $160,000 a year.

[Because of a high volume of comments requiring moderation, we are temporarily disabling comments on many of our articles so editors can focus on the coronavirus crisis and other coverage. We invite you to write a letter to the editor or reach out directly if you’d like to communicate with us about a particular article. Thanks.]

James Brooks

James Brooks was a Juneau-based reporter for the ADN from 2018 to May 2022.