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Chief of Staff Ben Stevens to leave the Dunleavy administration

 Ben Stevens at an APOC hearing, Jan. 2007 (KTUU)
Ben Stevens at an APOC hearing, Jan. 2007 (KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 9:21 AM AKST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2021 at 12:12 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Chief of Staff Ben Stevens is leaving the administration.

The governor’s office announced Wednesday that Stevens will be the new vice president of external affairs and transportation at ConocoPhillips Alaska.

“I want to thank Ben for his hard work and service to the State of Alaska the past two years. His knowledge and political acumen have been an asset to the administration and I wish him the very best in his new role at ConocoPhillips Alaska,” said Dunleavy in a statement.

Stevens’ last day wasn’t announced yet but the governor’s office says it will be made known soon.

ConocoPhillips Alaska spokeswoman Natalie Lowman said Stevens will start his new job Monday.

“Ben’s job responsibilities will include overseeing government relations, village outreach, community investment, media and advertising, and management of ConocoPhillips Alaska’s pipeline business including its interest in TAPS. We welcome Ben to ConocoPhillips Alaska and believe he will be a valuable addition to the Alaska business unit leadership team. He will begin working for the company March 1,” she said in an email.

Moving forward, Dunleavy appointed Deputy Chief of Staff Randy Ruaro to serve as acting chief of staff until a permanent replacement is named.

Stevens is a former senate president in the Alaska legislature. He was also one of a handful of lawmakers whose legislative offices were raided by the FBI in 2006. That investigation led to arrests of lawmakers and business leaders. It was a sweeping investigation into political corruption. Stevens was never charged with a crime and has always maintained his innocence.

Stevens has worked in the Dunleavy administration since December 2018 and became the governor’s top aide in July of 2019. He replaced Tuckerman Babcock.

In Juneau, Wednesday morning, Senate President Peter Micciche, (R) Soldotna, spoke about the legislature’s working relationship with Stevens.

“He will be missed, I think he has a depth and breadth of experience. I think he’s kind of seen it all,’ Micciche said.

Sen. Gary Stevens, (R) Kodiak, echoed those remarks.

“I hope the governor finds a chief of staff who’s familiar with the legislature,” Stevens said.

Alaska’s News Source requested an interview of Stevens and Ruaro, but Jeff Turner with the governor’s office said neither men had time.

Stevens is one of the sons of the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

This is a developing story.

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