ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Governor Mike Dunleavy made an announcement on Wednesday for key public safety leadership positions, and reaffirmed his dedication to tackling crime rates in the state.
KTUU was live at the State Crime Lab, and streamed the conference online. You can watch the stream live embedded at the bottom of this story.
At the public meeting Wednesday, Dunleavy addressed three new appointments to key leadership positions, including the Department of Public Safety, Attorney Generals Office, and Department of Corrections.
Kevin Clarkson was named the new Attorney General, Amanda Price was named the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, and Nancy Dahlstrom was named the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections. Dunleavy introduced all three and their supporting deputies at the podium on Wednesday.
Clarkson may be best known for some of his clients — defending tax exemptions for Anchorage Baptist Temple real estate, defending the Kenai Peninsula Borough's policy allowing religious invocations, and representing Hope Center in its decision to bar a transgender woman from its downtown Anchorage shelter. In a brief interview Wednesday, Clarkson said he shouldn't be judged by his clients and will represent the state as Dunleavy requests. He also said he was too new in the job to talk about lawsuits filed by the previous administration of Gov. BIll Walker against an opioid manufacturer and distributors.
Dahlstrom was elected to the Alaska House in November from Eagle River and now Dunleavy will have to name a replacement from names submitted by local Republicans. The previous legislator holding that seat, Dan Saddler, attended the news conference Wednesday but declined to say whether he would seek the seat again. The next Legislature is due to convene Jan. 15.
Price is the former director of the victim's advocacy group Standing Together Against Rape and was senior advisor to Walker on violent crime response and prevention.
With the appointments Wednesday, Dunleavy has named all commissioners except for the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Of the 13 he's selected, five are women and one is African American.
During his introductory speech, Dunleavy said he intends to make good on campaign promises like repealing the controversial crime reform law Senate Bill 91, and said, "Public safety has got to be job number one."