Bitney grew up with the governor, often telling the story of being in the same band class. He served as her Issues Coordinator during her successful gubernatorial campaign in 2006, spokesman for her transition team after the election and on December 1, 2006 he was named her Legislative Liaison.
Bitney was respected as a hard worker by people who knew him and worked with him. In six months, Bitney guided the governor's policies through the legislature, including her hallmark legislation; AGIA.
In June of 2007, it became known that Bitney was dating the soon to be ex-wife of Todd Palin's good friend. Palin reportedly began demanding that Bitney be fired.
After a short time, Bitney realized that he couldn't remain in the governor's office due to the constant pressure and he worked out a deal with Chief of Staff Mike Tibbles to take a transfer to another department.
On July 3, Bitney was in the process of driving his vehicle back to Juneau when he couldn't get his state issued Blackberry to work. When he arrived in Tok he called his office and was told that his Blackberry had been turned off and that his name had been removed from the state employee directory.
His call was then transferred into Tibbles who told him the proposal they talked about was a no deal and the governor ordered him fired immediately. John Bitney was never given a reason why he was fired and never given a chance to make a graceful exit.