Linda Lord-Jenkins, an experienced ombudsman investigator, was appointed ombudsman in June 2002 and reappointed in 2007 and again in 2012. Her term ends in 2017.
The agencys senior investigator, Lord-Jenkins had served as an assistant ombudsman since 1989, longer than any other investigator in the agencys history. In that time she conducted 75 formal investigations and 2,700 informal reviews. She had earlier worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Alaska and Florida.
The Office of the Ombudsman was established by the Alaska Legislature in 1975 and is governed by Alaska Statutes 24.55.010-340. The office accepts citizen complaints about state agencies and personnel. The ombudsman may investigate to determine whether an agency act was unlawful, unreasonable, unfair, arbitrary, erroneous, or inefficient, and may seek an appropriate remedy.
The ombudsman may interview state employees, examine confidential state documents, inspect agency premises, hold private hearings, and issue subpoenas. The ombudsman cannot disclose information made confidential by law. For more information about how the Office of the Ombudsman works, click here.
In addition to investigating citizen complaints against state agencies, the Office of the Ombudsman is a resource to the Legislature. The ombudsman may issue investigative reports and may submit to the Legislature recommendations for changes in state laws governing state agencies and programs. Municipalities and school districts may contract with the office for local ombudsman services.
The ombudsman is selected by the Alaska Legislature's bi-partisan Ombudsman Selection Committee, subject to approval by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature in joint session and by the Governor. The ombudsman serves for a term of five years and may be reappointed twice.