Marijuana Control Board votes to remove office director
Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office Director Erika McConnell was fired from her job Wednesday afternoon after a vote by the Marijuana Control Board.
Board members voted 3-2 to oust McConnell, with board chair Mark Springer and board member Loren Jones voting to retain her and board members Bruce Schulte, Nicholas Miller and Christopher Jaime voting to dismiss her.
That vote follows an earlier one by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board whose members voted to terminate McConnell in the beginning of October. The action of both boards means McConnell is now out of a job.
McConnell read a lengthy statement after the vote in which she said she felt targeted by the Dunleavy administration. She cited a lack of feedback from both boards.
“An employment relationship is based on good faith and those of you who have voted to remove me without actually finding that I’ve done anything wrong or providing me with an opportunity to correct any issues you have with me should be ashamed of yourselves," she said.
McConnell later added, “removing your director without cause, after stating on the record that my work ethic and job performance were appreciated, is not good government for the people of the state of Alaska."
Springer said he believed McConnell had done a good job with what he described as a very challenging position. He said issues with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board are particularly complex and that her removal could slow down some functions of the Marijuana Control Board, like approving and renewing licenses.
“We’ll be able to complete the better part of our agenda but the governor’s office is going to have to step up and find a new director pretty quickly," he said.
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