Alaska labor commissioner unexpectedly resigns for undisclosed reasons

Tamika Ledbetter
At center, Tamika Ledbetter, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, stands for applause with other members of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s cabinet during the governor’s 2023 State of the State address on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

The head of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development unexpectedly resigned Tuesday, causing Gov. Mike Dunleavy to name Deputy Commissioner Cathy Muñoz the agency’s acting boss.

Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter’s resignation was announced in an email from the governor’s office Tuesday afternoon, and state legislators — including the chairs of the Senate and House labor and commerce committees — said they were surprised by the announcement.

The resignation, handed in Tuesday, was effective immediately and Ledbetter is no longer a member of the administration, said a Dunleavy official.

Cathy Munoz
Acting Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Commissioner Cathy Munoz is seen in an undated headshot photo provided by the department. (From State of Alaska)

Rep. Jesse Sumner, R-Wasilla and chair of the House Labor and Commerce Committee, said he had just spoken with Ledbetter a few days ago, with no sign of an impending resignation.

The statement from the governor’s office did not say why Ledbetter resigned, and officials from the office were unable to immediately provide a copy of her resignation letter.

“I am very much looking forward to spending time with my family, traveling abroad and welcoming the birth of our first grandchild,” Ledbetter said in the statement from the governor’s office. 

The governor’s office did not answer a question asking whether Ledbetter resigned to spend more time with her family. A call to Muñoz’s cellphone was unanswered

Muñoz, who replaces Ledbetter, is a Republican former state representative from Juneau who has worked as deputy labor commissioner since 2018.

Alaska Beacon is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Alaska Beacon maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Andrew Kitchenman for questions: Follow Alaska Beacon on Facebook and Twitter.

Previous articleAnchorage senator proposes new spending cap, key piece of Alaska fiscal plan
Next articleSkull found near Canadian border belonged to a man who was likely killed by a bear in the ’70s