Dunleavy appoints former aide to Alaska oil, gas commission

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy has appointed a former aide as chair of a commission that oversees oil and gas drilling in the state.

Dunleavy’s office Monday announced the appointment of Brett Huber Sr. to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The appointment is subject to legislative confirmation.

Huber, in the statement released by Dunleavy’s office, said he was “humbled and excited” to be appointed to the role.

Huber managed Dunleavy’s successful 2018 gubernatorial campaign and became an aide to Dunleavy during his first term. Huber left state employment to work on an unsuccessful campaign against a 2020 elections-related voter initiative. He returned to the administration in 2021 as a senior policy advisor for “statehood defense” issues but left the following year.

He was named in a complaint filed by watchdog groups in September with the Alaska Public Offices Commission that alleged improper coordination between Dunleavy’s 2022 campaign and a group called A Stronger Alaska, which supported Dunleavy’s reelection. The complaint alleged Huber was hired by the group as a consultant while listed as a deputy treasurer for the Dunleavy campaign and under contract with the governor’s office for work related to “statehood defense” issues.

Huber and attorneys for the Dunleavy campaign and A Stronger Alaska denied any coordination. Huber and the Dunleavy campaign said it was an administrative oversight that he hadn’t been removed earlier as a deputy treasurer.

The matter remains pending before the Alaska Public Offices Commission.