Group files lawsuit over rejection of Dunleavy recall

Scott Kendall speaks at a presentation on Alaska’s fiscal future in January 2017. At the time, Kendall was the chief of staff to former Gov. Bill Walker. On Tuesday, Kendall filed a legal complaint in Anchorage Superior Court against the Division of Elections over the rejection of an application to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The group seeking to recall Gov. Mike Dunleavy has sued over the rejection of its recall application.

Recall Dunleavy filed the lawsuit in Anchorage Superior Court on Tuesday against the state Division of Elections and its director, Gail Fenumiai.

Fenumiai relied on the advice of Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, who rejected each of the four grounds for recall listed on the application.

Recall Dunleavy lawyer Scott Kendall said in a statement that Clarkson’s position was expected.

“After all, he was one of Governor Dunleavy’s chief advisors as he took the radical and unacceptable actions that gave rise to the recall,” Kendall said. “Rather than provide the Division of Elections with independent counsel as he should, Clarkson took it on himself to essentially grade his own homework. It should come as no surprise he gave himself a passing grade.”

The lawsuit said Fenumiai “unlawfully denied Recall Dunleavy and the citizens of Alaska the opportunity to exercise their constitutional and statutory right to recall public officials by refusing to certify the recall application” on Monday.

A Department of Law spokesperson said the department represents the Division of Elections and will review and respond in a timely fashion to the recall lawsuit.


Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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