News from Patrick Flynn

Insurance information

Many of my neighbors have called and e-mailed to register concerns regarding the life insurance policy for former Mayor George Sullivan.  I am told, but have not yet seen, that at least one of my colleagues prepared a resolution seeking for the Sullivan trust to reimburse the city until further inquiries can be conducted.

In light of the new questions that have arisen, and the fact that the Assembly was not privy to the fact that current Mayor Dan Sullivan is the trustee, I have asked for the Department of Law to provide more information on that and a more in-depth discussion of Anchorage’s contractual obligation.  I expect it will be a couple weeks before we see that report and can evaluate it.

In the meantime I want to acknowledge that this is far from an ordinary situation and appreciate the frustration felt by many of those who have contacted me.  This situation is a good example of something that might have made sense when it occurred – and the intentions of those who made the obligation were likely well reasoned – but viewed in different circumstances by different eyes now appears less than appropriate.  We would all do well to keep that in mind.



This contribution was made on Wednesday, 10. March 2010 at 16:11 and was published under the category Fiscal matters. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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  1. Aetna informed the city they would not cover Mr. Sullivan and advised the city to return the money. Why did the city not do this.

    How did Mr Sullivan’s rates go down over the years as he got older? This makes no sense.

    Did Dan Sullivan pay the premuims out of his pocket the last several years becuase he knew he would get the check?

    Comment: saw this – 11. March 2010 @ 9:07 am

  2. saw this at 9:07 am — I agree, that Sullivan’s rates went down makes now sense. Especially sine there was no insurance company setting the rates: they were set by someone in the MOA. And on whose authority?

    The Begich administration emails posted last night with Sean Cockerham’s most recent ADN story include a timeline which shows that (1) as early as 1984 Aetna was apparently not being told that Sullivan was not a current MOA employee: (2) two “premium” reductions (not really premiums, of course, since there was no insurance policy) were granted, once in 1992 during the Fink administration & again in 1995 during the Mystrom administration. Even assuming that the original Salaries & Emoluments Commission resolution 82-1 was a “contract”, the MOA would have been violating its terms by lowering the “premiums.”

    But of course, the Commission in 1982 was acting on the belief that Sullivan could be covered under the Muni’s group policy with Aetna — it never contemplated the Sullivan’s claim being paid with public monies. It never contemplated pretending that MOA was an insurance company.

    Start by asking Susan Lindemuth, who was Manager of Records & Benefits when this stuff was first set up. I’ve been told she now works in HR at the Alaska RR.

    I wrote about all of this at length in this blog post and a couple of previous ones.

    Chairman Flynn, I appreciate your efforts, but I’ve got to say that in my opinion, there is such a troubling appearance here of possibly public corruption spanning several administrations that I doubt we’re going to unravel this without an independent investigation. Though hopefully this preliminary step will at least help us learn some stuff. I hope that documents found through this process will be made public. Thank you.

    Comment: Mel Green – 11. March 2010 @ 12:06 pm

  3. […] (also city manager under mayors George Sullivan, Tom Fink, and Rick Mystrom). [Ref #10] As early as March 10 I wrote in a comment on Mr. Flynn’s blog, Start by asking Susan Lindemuth, who was Manager of […]

    Pingback: Sullygate: Why we need an independent investigation – 12. April 2010 @ 6:51 pm

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