ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska has extended a no-bid contract awarded to a relative of a major financial supporter of the governor, officials said.
The one-year contract extension was given July 1 to Clark Penney for economic development consulting services for the administration of Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
The 34-year-old owns Penney Capital Inc., which the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority pays $8,000 monthly, with a monthly travel allowance.
Clark Penney's grandfather, Bob Penney, contributed more than $350,000 to a political group that supported Dunleavy's 2018 election, records said.
The contract with Penney Capital can be extended through mid-2022 with additional one-year extension options and an overall cap of $441,000, officials said.
Politics did not play a role in the extension, a state official said.
"It is my understanding there is no connection between any election campaign and this Penney Capital, Inc. contract," said Karsten Rodvik, an Industrial Development and Export Authority spokesman.
Authority Executive Director Tom Boutin signed the contract March 20 for a term ending June 30.
Boutin extended the agreement for one year because Penney's company met requirements and to "provide continuity of service," Rodvik said, adding that either party can terminate the deal with 10 days written notice.
Some authority board members may not have been aware of the contract, the newspaper reported after obtaining emails through a public records request.
"This contract was not taken to the board for approval nor did it need to be, so you have not seen the contract," Boutin said in a May 9 email to members.
Dunleavy, Clark Penney, and Boutin declined to be interviewed, the newspaper reported.