A highly paid attorney who earned more than $850,000 working on Alaska's proposed gas pipeline project no longer works for the state and is unlikely to return, Gov. Bill Walker said Friday.
Rigdon Boykin, a commercial attorney, earned up to $120,000 monthly working as a negotiator for the state before his contract with the Alaska Gasline Development Corp. was terminated Nov. 30.
Boykin was paid $750,000 by the corporation, plus another $100,000 by Walker's office under a separate contract.
In an interview Friday morning, Walker said the state had "changed up the team a bit."
"I actually, in some respects, replaced Rigdon with myself," he said. He added, in a joking reference to his own comparatively meager $145,000 salary: "I would be the lowest-paid person in the whole process."
Walker said he attended a recent meeting of the project's partners, which include the state and oil producers ConocoPhillips, BP and ExxonMobil.
Asked about what Boykin had accomplished, Walker maintained the state got "its money's worth."
"Many of the agreements that we'll now wrap up are ones that he advanced significantly," he said.
In an interview in September, Walker called Boykin "the hardest driving negotiator I've ever met." They've worked together on pipeline matters for more than a decade.
Walker's administration announced Thursday it had received commitments from BP and ConocoPhillips to negotiate sales of their gas for the proposed pipeline if either company decides to pull out of the project partnership. ExxonMobil, however, said negotiations on a similar commitment were still in progress.
Walker wouldn't rule out bringing Boykin back to the project at some point. But for now, he said, "I don't really see a role, necessarily, for him."
Alaska Dispatch Publishing