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Former Assemblyman Dan Coffey under investigation

  • Author: Jill Burke
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published December 18, 2012

Former Anchorage Assemblyman Dan Coffey is under scrutiny, accused of violating state campaign finance and lobbying laws.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission, the state's candidate and public official watchdog agency, filed an official complaint against Coffey Dec. 13. It's his work as a private sector consultant that concerns APOC. The agency alleges that Coffey acted as lobbyist without ever registering as a lobbyist, and that he made improper campaign donations to candidates outside his district.

Included among Coffey's client list for 2011 and 2012, the period during which APOC says the violations took place, is the municipality of Anchorage, which hired Coffey to lobby the legislature and the governor on behalf of the Port of Anchorage's expansion.

"As a former Assembly member, Coffey has substantial familiarity with the processes and procedures of local government. … As a business man and attorney, he has the knowledge and experience to provide advice and counsel on matters related to the special projects," states a memo from Larry Baker, mayor Dan Sullivan's chief of staff, that was attached to the Oct. 2011 contract signed by Coffey to provide up to $60,000 in services for the city.

If APOC finds that Coffey should have registered as a lobbyist, and therefore that campaign donations to candidates are improper, candidates will be required to refund the money.

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