Dunleavy appointee resigns after being accused of lying about his credentials

Commissioner-designee John Quick talks to the Senate Finance Committee during a confirmation hearing on Jan. 22, 2019, in Juneau. (Gavel Alaska video still)

Update (8:20 p.m.)

After less than two months on the job, Department of Administration Commissioner John Quick has resigned.

In his letter to Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Quick says, “Though I strongly refute some of the claims made against me over the last 48-hours, I do not want to become a distraction to your agenda and the positive work you are doing on behalf of Alaskans.”

Dunleavy has named Paula Vrana as acting commissioner. Vrana is a lawyer who Dunleavy says joined the Department of Administration on Jan. 2.

Original story

The commissioner-designee of the state’s Department of Administration is being accused of lying to the state’s Legislature during his first confirmation hearing.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy appointed John Quick as the state’s new commissioner of the Department of Administration in late November.

John Quick's resume.
John Quick’s resume. (Source: Senate Finance Committee)

Quick claims on his resume he was an owner and investor in a number of businesses in Washington state.

However, the owner of one of those businesses — Anthem Coffee & Tea — disputes that. Janie Reynolds of Puyallup, Washington, sent a letter to several lawmakers this week saying that Quick lied during his confirmation testimony to the Senate Finance Committee.

In the letter, Reynolds says that Quick was hired in 2011 to organize the family-owned business but that he was fired in 2012 and never had any percentage of ownership in the company. Reynolds also said Quick lied about helping to recruit and secure investors for the company.

There are other factual errors on his resume and online biographies.

Quick claims that he attended Wayland Baptist University in Texas for two years and received an MBA; the school’s registrar said he attended for about nine months and did not graduate.

Dunleavy’s press secretary Matt Shuckerow said Quick is aware of the allegations. He did not respond to a request for comment.  However, his office forwarded a response to members of the Senate Finance and State Affairs committees on Thursday evening.

In it, Quick says he had a verbal agreement with the Reynolds family for an equity-stake in the business. When that verbal agreement didn’t turn into a written one, Quick says he parted ways with the company.

He apologizes for telling senators that he sold an ownership stake in the company rather than clarifying that he’d just parted ways with them.

He did not address the inconsistencies about his educational background in his written and online biographies.

Before he joined the Dunleavy administration, Quick was chief of staff to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce. He’s also the registered owner of a business called Empire Consulting that provided campaign assistance to Soldotna Republican Sen. Peter Micciche.

The department that Quick has been tasked with running oversees administrative services for state agencies on everything from personnel to mail distribution. It had a more than $343 million budget last year and about 1,200 positions.

This story has been updated.

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified the department Quick had been appointed to oversee. Quick was commissioner of the Department of Administration.

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Rashah McChesney

Daily News Editor

I help the newsroom establish daily news priorities and do hands-on editing to ensure a steady stream of breaking and enterprise news for a local and regional audience.

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