- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A state official says a controversial Board of Fisheries appointee has indicated he no longer wants to be considered for a seat on the board.

Karen Gillis, director of boards and commissions, said she was told Friday to prepare a letter to the Legislature, informing lawmakers Roland Maw was withdrawing his name from consideration. Maw didn’t immediately return a call to The Associated Press seeking confirmation.

Katie Marquette, a spokeswoman for the governor, said Maw gave a letter to chief of staff Jim Whitaker on Friday.

Maw has fished commercially in Cook Inlet and is the former director of the United Cook Inlet Drift Association. As part of that job, he had advocated on behalf of commercial interests at board of fisheries meetings, although Maw said during a confirmation hearing that he would focus on biology as a board member.

Gov. Bill Walker appointed Maw in January after former board chair Karl Johnstone resigned when he was told he wouldn’t be asked to serve another term.

Maw had been expected to serve on the board as an interim member at a meeting in Sitka that begins Feb. 23. Gillis says the seat will likely go unfilled at that meeting.

Walker will now have two seats on the Board of Fisheries to fill by April 1. The other seat is currently held by Orville Huntington, of Huslia, and a spokeswoman for the governor said previously that he had not made a decision on whether to reappoint Huntington or select someone else.

A confirmation hearing for Maw was held Monday in Senate Resources. During that hearing, chair Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, said more than 40 people wanted to provide public testimony on the appointment.

Maw applied to serve as commissioner of the state’s Department of Fish and Game, but in January the board of fisheries voted unanimously not to interview him.

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