UPDATE: Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigns after making 'inappropriate overtures'
Gov. Walker says the nature of the comments made by former Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott were "inappropriate overtures" that occurred Sunday night.
"Once he realized the impact of what he had said, he felt it was appropriate to resign," Gov. Walker said Tuesday evening outside an event at the Fireweed Business Center, indicating he first learned of the incident on Monday around 4 p.m. just prior to taking part in a debate.
Walker says he spoke with Mallott Monday night while deliberating what action to take, and again Tuesday morning when Mallott tendered his resignation.
The governor says the victim has asked not to be identified, and declined to elaborate on the nature of the comments other than to say the overtures were not made to a member of the administration.
"Anything more than that would be, I think, disrespectful and would not honor her request," Walker said.
The Lieutenant Governor of Alaska, Byron Mallott, resigned Tuesday due to what is being referred to as "inappropriate comments."
According to a press release issued by Governor Bill Walker, Mallot's resignation is effective immediately, with Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson being sworn in to take over by Walker himself.
“It is with profound disappointment and sadness that I accepted the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott," Walker said in an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon. "Byron recently made inappropriate comments that do not reflect the sterling level of behavior required in his role as Lieutenant Governor. I learned of the incident last night. Byron has taken full responsibility for his actions and has resigned."
In Davidson's statement, she specifically mentioned respecting women and Alaskans as being the upmost responsibility.
“Alaskans deserve the highest standards of conduct by their elected officials. While I am deeply saddened by the resignation of Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, I am profoundly disappointed by his conduct. Respect for women, and the dignity of all Alaskans, is our responsibility. I stand ready to serve as your Lieutenant Governor,” Davidson said.
Mallott himself also issued a resignation letter, in which he said he made "inappropriate comments I made that placed a person whom I respect and revere in a position of vulnerability."
What exactly Mallott said, and who he said it to, has not been disclosed. His resignation letter can be read in full below.
Walker said in a statement that while it is too late for Mallott to remove his name from the ballot, that his resignation applies to the Walker Mallott campaign as well, and that he will not accept the position of lieutenant governor if elected. AP reports that Davidson will assume the role of his running mate.
He says the campaign and stakes of the election are greater than any one person.
A live press conference was held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, where Walker and Davidson addressed this developing news. That press conference can be watched in full at the top of the story.
At the press conference, Walker did not answer questions from reporters regarding what exactly Mallott's comments were, and who they were made to.
Walker did confirm to KTUU that the victim was not a member of Mallott's staff, and that Walker learned of the comments yesterday afternoon when informed by his chief of staff.
A spokesperson for Gov. Walker said that right now their primary concern is to protect the victim. They said they will "let [reporters] know" when they can say more on Mallott's reportedly inappropriate comments.