Anchorage Assembly looking into allegations that mayor’s office made inappropriate requests of police chief

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 2:47 PM AKST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2021 at 5:32 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Leadership of the Anchorage Assembly have requested more information from the city after allegations arose over the weekend that Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration made inappropriate requests of Anchorage Police Chief Ken McCoy, among other actions.

On Saturday, the political blog the Alaska Landmine published a post using anonymous sources that alleged three actions by Bronson’s administration. Among them are a claim that Bronson’s office tried to get McCoy to remove Anchorage police officers from the Assembly Chambers during a tense public hearing over a proposed mask mandate on Oct. 7. During that meeting, the administration had removed contracted security from the room.

A second claim made in the blog was that Bronson’s office tried to get McCoy to have Anchorage police officers “rescue” a COVID-19 patient from Alaska Providence Medical Center “and/or compel medical providers to treat the man with Ivermectin.”

A spokesperson for Providence Alaska Medical Center said via email that the hospital was not aware of the situation described in the blog of Anchorage police officers being told to “rescue” a patient.

The third claim made by the blog is that during a tour of the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility facility, Bronson and members of his “senior staff” interfered with the system that provides fluoride to the city’s water supply.

On Sunday, Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance and Assembly Vice Chair Christopher Constant sent a letter to the city’s record management officer and Municipal Attorney Patrick Bergt requesting information about the allegations. They requested copies of emails, documents and any other material related to the claims.

“To better inform the Assembly as to the truth of these allegations, and whether and what Assembly response may be appropriate, Assembly leadership now requests a copy of all emails, text messages, voice messages, reference files, transitory files, or other records (together ‘Materials’) that relate to any aspect of any of the alleged ‘incidents’ enumerated above,” the letter states.

The assembly leadership wrote that, “if true,” the allegations in the blog post would be of “significant public concern and interest.” They also requested any emails containing the name of the man described in the incident at Providence. LaFrance and Constant asked for all materials to be delivered to the assembly ahead of its next regular meeting this Tuesday.

Assembly leadership sent a separate letter, also on Sunday, to the general manager of the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility asking for more information about Bronson’s visit to the facility, and what occurred during that visit.

“The Assembly leadership is concerned by what we’ve heard and if proven true, that will be very troubling,” LaFrance told Alaska’s News Source on Monday in a statement sent via email by the assembly’s legislative liaison. “Since the story became public this weekend, people close to the municipality’s operations have been coming forward with similar stories and information. We’re waiting to hear back from the administration and how they respond will determine the next steps.”

Alaska’s News Source has reached out to the Anchorage Police Department and the mayor’s office in an attempt to verify the claims made in the Alaska Landmine blog post. The police department referred questions to the mayor’s office, and the mayor’s office had not responded by the time of publication.

McCoy announced on Nov. 30 that he will retire as chief of police early next year, after 27 years with the force but less than a year as chief. The move came as a surprise to many in the community. He has not publicly stated his reason for leaving and has declined an invitation to be interviewed.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with comment from Assembly Chair Suzanne LaFrance.

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