Donna Arduin, the controversial Director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been let go by Governor Mike Dunleavy (R – Alaska). Dunleavy’s Chief of Staff, Ben Stevens, just held a conference call with reporters to announce the decision. Stevens said it was a decision of the Governor and his leadership team. He also stated that Laura Cramer is now acting budget director. They hope to announce a permanent replacement sometime this week.
Stevens said Arduin will transition from Director of OMB to an advisor to OMB if she so desires. If they can agree on a contract she will be paid at a reduced rate from her current salary of $195,000 a year. He did not indicate how much she would be paid in an advisory role. Stevens said the decision did not have anything to do with the recall effort against Dunleavy, but that it was about being able to craft a budget for the administration.
Since Ben Stevens took over as chief of staff there has been talk of a shake up in personnel in the Governor’s Office. Arduin was rumored to be first on the chopping block. Her radical approach to the budget drew the ire of many Alaskans. Her often times smug and condescending answers to legislators in committee meetings did not win her many friends in the Legislature.
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It is unclear if she will stay on as an advisor or will head off to another state. Arduin has worked in Florida under Governor Jeb Bush, California under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as in Illinois and Michigan. It appears her time in Alaska may be coming to an end.