Local law enforcement said there was only one official unsolved killing in Kotzebue, Alaska. Many residents suspect otherwise.
Before they died, Jennifer Kirk and Sue Sue Norton were both victims of domestic violence, but the men involved — the ex-mayor’s sons — faced few consequences despite a long history of similar allegations.
Anchorage City Commissioner Charged With Fraudulently Obtaining $1.6 Million in COVID-19 Relief Funds for Her Charity
Despite a history of fraud allegations, Rosalina Mavaega and her husband received one of the city’s largest awards under the American Rescue Plan Act. Prosecutors say the couple spent the funds buying cryptocurrency and on other personal uses.
Anchorage Gave Her a $1.6 Million Grant Despite Prior Fraud Allegations. Now She’s Under Investigation Again.
Despite a history of fraud allegations, Rosalina Mavaega was made an Anchorage city commissioner and given a large grant to support her homeless services charity. Federal investigators are looking into her business dealings.
Despite Judy Eledge’s history of inflammatory comments and social media posts, Alaska’s governor has awarded her public money and a national role. What’s more, city and state agencies meant to protect Alaskans’ civil rights have been hamstrung.
The former AG resigned in January 2021 as the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica prepared to publish an article about the allegations.
On the advice of the state’s attorney general, Alaska’s civil rights agency quietly deleted language promising equal protections for LGBTQ Alaskans against most categories of discrimination, and it began refusing to investigate complaints.
Here’s a timeline of some of the scandals and accusations that have hit the seat of government in Alaska’s largest city since Mayor Dave Bronson took office in July 2021.
An influential friend of the mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, is at the center of a burgeoning scandal at City Hall.
Ed Sniffen faces three counts of sexual abuse of a minor for having sex with a 17-year-old girl he coached in high school in 1991.
Nikki Dougherty White came forward to say Alaska’s acting attorney general had an inappropriate relationship with her when she was a teen, and he resigned. That was more than a year ago, and the state’s investigation has barely moved.
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy pledged to add state troopers to villages off the road system. Two years later, many communities are still waiting. “I’m very disappointed, obviously,” one village president said.
School District That Employed Principal Despite Sex Abuse Complaints Will Pay $3.8 Million to His Victims
An Alaska school principal who abused young girls kept his job despite years of complaints. Now the district will pay millions to his victims. His conviction is part of a series of failures by the state’s schools to protect students from educators.
Alaskan Law Requires DNA From Accused Criminals, but Officials Failed to Collect Samples From 21,000 People
Alaska authorities neglected to collect DNA swabs from nearly a quarter of qualifying arrestees since 1995, the state said. The requirement was supposed to help solve sexual assault cases and put serial offenders behind bars.
The head of Alaska’s leading tribal health organization has stepped down after a former assistant accused him of “forcing and requiring sex” to keep her job. He denies wrongdoing and says their relationship was consensual.
Ed Sniffen stepped down as the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica were preparing an article about his relationship with a 17-year-old girl three decades ago. The state has now launched an investigation into the allegations.
Alaska Requires DNA Be Collected From People Arrested for Violent Crimes. Many Police Have Ignored That.
By failing to collect DNA samples when they arrest people as the law requires, Alaskan law enforcement left the state’s DNA database with crucial gaps, allowing at least one serial rapist to go undetected.
In the state with the highest rate of sexual assault in the nation, testing the backlog of rape kits may not be enough. Many were from cases where the identity of the suspect was already known, or were opened only to find no usable DNA.
She received hundreds of “uncomfortable” texts from Alaska’s attorney general, leading to his resignation, and says Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s staff knew of the misconduct for months but no investigation began until a whistleblower appeared.
As scandals force Alaska politicians to resign, nowhere have the accusations been more severe than this remote rural district, where male leaders are proving to be part of the very problems they’re supposed to be solving.