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Bob Penney’s grandson, Clark Penney, awarded major sole source contract from State of Alaska

Clark Penney, the grandson of Bob Penney, was awarded a $441,000 sole source contract for economic development with the State of Alaska, according to documents obtained by the Alaska Landmine through a records request. The contract was issued by the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority (AIDEA). It is a Reimbursable Service Agreement (RSA) from the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.

The initial contract is for $44,000, which expires on 9/30/2019. The sole source waiver request authorizes a total of $441,000 over 40 months. Here is the contract and procurement waiver:

Economic Development Advisory Services Executed Contract

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URSA Optical

Waiver Request For Alternate Procurement Methods

Bob Penney, along with Dunleavy’s brother Frances, was a major donor to Dunleavy for Alaska, an independent expenditure group that supported Mike Dunleavy in his bid for governor. Bob Penney contributed over $350,000 to the group. The below article provides more background on that (Penney donated additional money after this article was printed).

Meet the two men who have spent $700,000 trying to make Mike Dunleavy Alaska’s governor

The contract is for economic development work on something called the New Industry Development Team. Governor Dunleavy announced this in his State of the State address. It’s a team to market Alaska to the world. This is the only reference I could find online about it.

Here is the scope of work in the contract:

 

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Young

 

The sole source justification waiver states four reasons for why the contract was not put out to bid. The first reason cites Penney Capital, Inc. as having “extensive experience in connecting investors with opportunities in new businesses and industry development.” What’s interesting is, according to the business license, Penney Capital was formed on 3/15/2019, not even two months ago.

 

 

According to his bio on the website of Cypress Wealth Services, Clark Penney does have a financial management background.

Clark Penney serves as a Partner and Senior Financial Advisor with Cypress Wealth Services. As a financial advisor, Clark focuses on capital preservation and income accumulation. Clark’s career in financial services began at Merrill Lynch in 2008 and spent six years with The Cypress Group at Morgan Stanley. He was most recently a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor with the Cypress Group at Integrated Wealth Management from 2014 to 2017. Before his career in financial services, Clark worked as an intern on the energy and defense committees with the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C. and with the president pro tempore. Clark received his Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management and minor in Economics from Southern Oregon University, where he founded the Golf Club. Born in Alaska, Clark enjoys skiing, golf, and dog training.

I left two messages for Clark asking for comment about the contract. I have not heard back from him yet.

Another interesting connection is the address Clark Penney used on his business license. The address, 3620 Penland Parkway, is the same address Bob Penney used for his donations to the group Dunleavy for Alaska.

The contract was signed by Tom Boutin, the CEO and Executive Director of AIDEA. Both Boutin and Clark Penney were listed as deputy treasurers on Mike Dunleavy’s campaign. That can be seen here.

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Clark Penney also worked on the Dunleavy campaign. On 11/20/2018, Clark Penney was paid $10,000 from the Dunleavy campaign for “Consulting Fees.”

The State has strict procurement rules about when and how sole source contracts can be issued. AIDEA is subject to this procurement code, meaning it must comply with strict requirements contained in AS 36.30.300 before awarding sole source contracts.

This isn’t the first time questions have been raised about the Dunleavy administration issuing sole source contracts. Recently, the administration came under scrutiny for an emergency sole source contract to manage the Alaska Psychiatric Institute. It was granted to a company called Wellpath. A lawsuit about the contract was filed by the Alaska State Employees Association. Soon after, Health and Social Services Commissioner Adam Crum announced they would be ending the contract.

AIDEA’s sole sourced contract may be permitted by AS 36.30.300, but given the close relationship between the Penney family and the Dunleavy Administration, the public deserves to know about the contract and for it to be scrutinized to ensure that it is legal.

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monkfelonious
1 year ago

These people just ooze out from under rocks.

1 year ago

They are just stealing. After the end of the contract I would like to see what benefit they actually brought to AK. What has happened to accountability?

Richard Thompson
1 year ago

Dunleavy is bought and paid for.

Rick
1 year ago

What a cute way to pay Bob back for his campaign donation.

Cam
1 year ago

Downsize, eliminate the state Economic Development Department and privatize- seems to be the way of this administration. How many people lost their jobs with the department for this so called new team

CMT
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam

5 Economic Development PCNs are being cut. They’re all currently filled; not vacant.

Cam
1 year ago
Reply to  CMT

What do you mean being cut-currently filled? So there will be vacant position?

CMT
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam

Five people will be laid off at the end of June. They’re not just eliminating vacant positions.

Cam
1 year ago
Reply to  CMT

So sorry, but if laid off doesn’t that mean no job? if no one is in the position isn’t it vacant for all practical purposes? Lay off people, lose healthcare and benefits and give to on private vendor? Is that it?

Mark Springer
1 year ago
Reply to  Cam

HFIN cut the 5 PCN’s in DCED. So, after July 1, no line staff working on economic development in the Department. All concentrated in the Governors office now. So, no, not vacant positions. Eliminated positions.

Warren Keogh
1 year ago

Sadly, five of the seven AIDEA Board seats are occupied by recent Dunleavy/Babcock appointees. The terms for the other two expire June 30. Looks like the considerably large AIDEA fund has suddenly become a Dunleavy slush fund for political favors. The AIDEA executive director and the majority of the BOD are in Dunleavy’s pocket, which means AIDEA soon will be pissing away more than the $441K for a sole source contract. Not a bad return on investment for Bob Penney. The never ending stench of the Dunleavy/Babcock administration….. so ripe.

bookie
1 year ago

Ethics and politics just don’t go together. The Babcock (opps, I meant the Dunlevey) administration is alive and well

Audrey Saylor
1 year ago

Shawn is a dj hahahaha

Scott McClure
1 year ago
Reply to  Audrey Saylor

entrepreneur often means broke or sketchy

Scott McClure
1 year ago

“New Industry Development Team” = funnel to pay back campaign contributors. Seems this outfit Cypress is hardly qualified for such a task, more like a group you might use for lower level investment strategy and doing your taxes. Take a look into the qualifications Clark and Shawn, not particularly screaming winner to me. But that has been a common thread of this Administration, low qualifications, low accomplishment.

1 year ago

This ticks me off… this is business as usual, at this rate we may as well have pencilled Walker in if this is the crap he’s going to pull.

1 year ago

Nice piece of reporting. Good eye. Glad to see someone awake and aware. Thank you.

1 year ago

Full investigation please.

Shazbot
1 year ago

Is this being reported by ADN, KTUU, or KTVA? This kind of crap needs to be plastered on front pages.

1 year ago

The entire purpose and mission of AIDEA is to pick winners and losers based on political bias. It it also an employment “nest” for the politically connected (anybody recognize the name “Penny”?).

Cam
1 year ago
Reply to  Lynn Willis

Jobs act for family and friends while cutting state employees-remember folks someones going to get the money.

Colleen
1 year ago

Corruption at its best.

The Alaska Poaster
1 year ago

To be fair Jeff, a business license in AK is only good for 2 years. Is the date reflecting the whole life of the business license, or just the most recent renewal?

Emily
1 year ago

While I completely agree that this level of sole sourcing is not compliant with procurement rules, the business license bit is misleading. A simple search on the DCCED website shows Clark Penney created Penney Capital LLC in 2014 and it was dissolved last fall. In January 2019, Penney Capital, Inc. was created. In March 2019, the company received a business license. Clark Penney did not start a business solely because of this contract – it had been around since 2014.

1 year ago

Seriously people, with Tuckerman as Chief of Graff, what else would Alaskans expect??

1 year ago

With Tuckerman as Chief of GRAFF, what else should Alaska’s expect????

Williwaw
1 year ago

This has to be illegal, right? It’s so blatantly clear what’s going on here.

George Eppler
1 year ago

What is Alaska getting for the money it is spending?