Kiehl: DOT commissioner removes himself from Juneau Access decision making process

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - If the Juneau Access Project is to be resurrected by the Dunleavy Administration that will happen without the input of its Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner.

    That's according to Juneau Senator Jesse Kiehl who was asked about the project while a guest on Action Line.  He said Commissioner John MacKinnon said at his confirmation hearing that he was advised by his ethics lawyers to "stay off of it", so he's delegated the matter to his staff.

    Kiehl explains that MacKinnon sought an opinion and that he's going to live with it.  "You've got to applaud a person who says people are complaining about this.  I'm going to go find out what the rules are and I'm going to live by them.  So credit to him for that." The conflict relates to land owned by MacKinnon's family at the Kensington Mine which would benefit from  the Juneau Access Project.

    Kiehl is told by department staff that they are looking at the issue and are working with the administration.  He said he has a slightly different take on the project than the Governor, but believes Dunleavy has the authority to go back to Federal Highways and have the project resurrected with the funding now sitting in an account.

    Kiehl serves on the Senate Transportation Committee which deals with such things as Juneau Access.


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