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The MSB’s secret contract with Sean Parnell


The MSB, without Assembly approval and without public disclosure, hired former Governor Sean Parnell to work as a consultant on “Port, Rail and Economic Development” from the summer of 2016 to the summer of 2018.  Mr. Parnell was paid over $100,000.

2016 Borough Contract

2017.2018 Purchase Order No_

Contract Amendment no Borough Sign 12.21.16

The MSB also didn’t inform the Port Commission that Mr. Parnell was working to market and develop the Port and Rail.

Last week, I called a Port Commissioner who has been attending the Port meetings since before 2016. I asked – Were you aware of this contract? This commissioner told me – NO. If you find out more about it, please let me know. According to this Commissioner, who has never missed a meeting,  Mr. Parnell never attended a single Port Commission meeting and the MSB Manager and staff never informed the Port Commission of Mr. Parnell’s role. Also – the Port Commission never goes into Executive Session – so it wasn’t revealed in an executive session.

What exactly did Mr. Parnell do for the MSB? So far, the MSB is not saying. The Manager, Mayor and Public Relations Director have not responded to my email.

My public records’ request also sought “all work product” but so far, the MSB hasn’t sent me any.

What is interesting about this contract is that no written work is required. And conveniently, due to the Cyber Attack, the MSB’s higher level staff have “lost” all their old emails. (Emails for lower level staff were restored.)

All told, Mr. Parnell’s consulting firm “NavNorth” made $103,500.


  1. What work did former Governor Parnell do for the MSB?
  2. What was accomplished with this contract?
  3. Who was aware of the contract?
  4. Why was this contract so secretive?
  5. Why wasn’t this contract approved by the Assembly? (All contracts over 100K require Assembly approval.)
  6. Why wasn’t the Port Commission told about it?
  7. If Gov Parnell was supposed to market the Port, why didn’t he meet with the Port Commission to discuss his role and get input from them?

See previous post –

2/11/19 Update – The MSB Public Records Clerk sent me this note via email:

I have forwarded you everything that was given to me. My understanding is that the work product was in the form of meetings and phone calls. There is no other documentation to forward to you.


  1. SR SR February 10, 2019

    “The MSB also didn’t inform the Port Commission that Mr. Parnell was working to market and develop the Port and Rail.”

    And MSB just never noticed or knew their port was receiving 100 grand of “marketing”????? Must have been a real kick-butt marketing plan….. 🤐

    I don’t buy it. I won’t speculate with the minimal info that I have, but it sounds to me more like a high level official embezzled the money in plain sight, and kicked the $$$ to “ole’ Sean”.

    Please, someone, prove this perspective to be in error.

  2. SR SR February 10, 2019

    As an aside, why does it show my post to be 9 hrs in the future?

    Hosting this site from Far East Asia?

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