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If your ears have been burning lately, it might be because Ketchikan is part...

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Thomas Francisco “Cisco” Martinez Jr., 54, died Jan. 5, 2018, in Juneau. He was born Aug. 21, 1963, in Ketchikan.
No conflict: Senator on leave from oil company

JUNEAU (AP) — A state senator on leave from his job with energy company ConocoPhillips said Tuesday he doesn’t see a conflict of interest with his legislative duties, which include serving as co-chair of a special committee on oil flow through the trans-Alaska pipeline.

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, said he has researched the definition of a conflict, and said others have served in the Legislature who were employed either directly or indirectly by the oil and gas industry.

Micciche was asked about his industry work during a news conference.

Micciche is supervisor of ConocoPhillips’ liquefied natural gas plant at Nikiski, and is on leave from that job during the 90-day legislative session, he said. Taxes on oil companies are expected to be a prominent issue during the session.

Micciche said he doesn’t stand to benefit personally or professionally from his position in the Legislature and has never had his commitment to public service questioned.

The former Soldotna mayor said he believes people who hold elected office should be held to a much higher standard of ethical performance.

"You simply cannot compromise your ethics and your ability to fairly represent everyone, not only in my district but (in) Alaska as a whole," he said.