Jay Baldwin, president of the Leisnoi Native Corporation board of directors, announced his resignation today from the board due to “disagreements in the direction the corporation is going.”
Baldwin also said fellow board member Teresa Baker would join him in submitting her resignation.
Baldwin and Baker are the only members on the five-person board who live in Kodiak.
Contacted Thursday evening, Leisnoi CEO Carole Pagano said she had not heard of the resignation and could not comment.
“Jay’s left us in the dark with this one,” Pagano said.
Baldwin has been on the board of Leisnoi less than two years and became president of the board in the fall of 2010. In addition, Baldwin manages the Kodiak National Guard Armory, serves on the Kodiak Island Borough Planning and Zoning board, and was appointed to the governor’s Veterans Advisory Council.
“I want to show our shareholders this is very important to me.” Baldwin said. “I think I’m doing the right thing because I was elected to be president and I’m not in the leadership role right now.
“So (I will) stand down and help and assist in a different way to make sure our corporation succeeds, because we are not going down the right path I believe.”
Leisnoi is currently in litigation with A-1 Timber Consultants, accused of not acting in good faith to continue contracted logging operations and of demanding kickbacks. Attorney Bill Ingaldson has said that A-1 was in breach of contract on several substantive areas and Leisnoi could not allow A-1 to continue logging or give implicit support for the continued contract violations. He also said there is no evidence of attempts to collect kickbacks.
Shareholders have also attempted to remove the Leisnoi board of directors by recall election several times in recent years. The most recent petition was launched in October 2010.
“Out of all the negative things that have happened with Leisnoi in recent months, I do say it’s been a blessing,” Baldwin said. “I’ve met some amazing shareholders and some incredible people.”
Baldwin said he didn’t agree with dissident shareholders in the beginning, but listened to them and brought their concerns to the Leisnoi board, where he began to be shunned.
“We’ve done our research, we’ve asked questions, and that’s what I’m asking the shareholders to do. The purpose is this: Get active, ask questions and vote. For the ones that are unsure, let’s stir up the pot and ask these questions.
“I’m here for the shareholders,” Baldwin said. “I’ve seen my mom and that generation get nothing. I don’t get paid. I don’t want anything. I just want to know our corporation is going to succeed. That would make me proud.”
Mirror writer Wes Hanna can be reached via email at email@example.com.