PUBLISHED: 10:00 AM on Wednesday, January 19, 2005
French makes case against AG Renkes
Sen. Hollis French, D-Anchorage, laid out the case against Attorney General Gregg Renkes today in a speech on the Senate floor, saying that "it is time for the members of this body to begin to think about ... and to debate" impeaching the attorney general.

"The case is a very routine instance of conflict of interest," French said. "It would make a good working definition of conflict of interest for first-year law students."

Citing materials released by the administration in response to public information act requests, as well as other materials, French offered a synopsis of the case against Renkes.

"According to documents in the public record," French said, "the Attorney General:

1. Brought KFx to the attention of state trade officials.

2. Flew to Taiwan to promote the Beluga project.

3. Served as host to Taiwanese representatives visiting Alaska.

4. Wrote to Taiwanese extolling the virtues of KFx technology.

5. Kept pushing state officials to move the project along.

6. Modified a trade agreement between Taiwan and Alaska in a way that directly benefited KFx."

At the time, Renkes owned 12,000 shares of KFx stock.

French also criticized the response of Gov. Frank Murkowski to the case against Renkews. Murkowski has said he hired lawyer Bob Bundy to investigate Renkes' conduct.

"The Governor's office has urged us to wait for the Bundy report," French said. "The report, which was originally budgeted for $25,000 with a due date of Dec. 31, is now budgeted for $125,000 and has a due date of Feb. 28. What's next, $350,000 and Halloween?"