JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) — The Alaska Legislature confirmed Gov. Dunleavy's Department of Public Safety Commissioner-designee Amanda Price by a vote of 34-25 during a joint session Wednesday afternoon.
The vote split the Senate down the middle — 10 in favor and 10 opposed, while the House vote came down 24-15, with Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake, excused.
Rep. Zack Fields, D-Anchorage, was the first to oppose Price's confirmation, citing what he described as a record of deception.
Fields says Price mislead multiple legislative committees about her work and education history, claiming her résumé implied she graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and only disclosed on Tuesday before the House State Affairs Committee that she did not actually graduate from UAA.
"Personally I don't think a college degree is required to be commissioner of the Department of Public Safety," Fields said. "I actually don't think that law enforcement should be a strict prerequisite to serve as this commissioner, but integrity absolutely has to be a prerequisite for this very important position."
Rep. Laddie Shaw, R-Anchorage, also voiced trepidation about confirming Price.
"There was a grilling, a very deep grilling — more than one, and I was one of the grillers," Shaw said. "I asked her a lot of things that an aspiring Trooper would be asked, and I have to say, the answers I got did not paint a picture as what I would think of as an ideal candidate."
But Shaw says his concerns were outweighed by the positive impressions of people who work for her directly.
On Tuesday, Price appeared at a media conference before facing tough questions in the House State Affairs Committee about her work, education, and financial histories.
There, she refuted accounts chronic absenteeism and poor work performance during her time in the Walker administration.
This story will be updated.