Anchorage mayor resigns after admitting to relationship


ANCHORAGE — The mayor of Alaska’s largest metropolis submitted his resignation Tuesday night, 4 days after an anchorwoman at an area tv station threatened to report he had posted nude photographs of himself on a web site.

Ethan Berkowitz adamantly denied her allegations, however on Monday admitted he had an inappropriate relationship with Maria Athens, the anchor at a Fox/ABC mixed station in Anchorage.

“It’s with profound unhappiness and humility that I resign as mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage,” he mentioned in a press release learn on the Anchorage Meeting assembly by his chief of workers, Jason Bockenstedt, and later emailed to the media.

“My resignation outcomes from unacceptable private conduct that has compromised my means to carry out my duties with the main focus and belief that’s required,” Berkowitz wrote.

Berkowitz, 58, famous that his conduct did nice harm to his spouse, their household, his workers and the folks of Anchorage. “For that, I’m deeply sorry,” he mentioned.

A small however vocal crowd stood and cheered the resignation, which is efficient Oct. 23.

The saga that has been the thrill of Anchorage began when Athens posted a video on her Fb web page Friday, the identical day the station barred her from the studio. Within the video, she claimed she would break a narrative that evening claiming Berkowitz posted nude photographs to an underage web site. She later additionally posted what she mentioned was a photograph of the mayor’s nude again aspect.

Berkowitz’s workplace instantly denied the unsubstantiated allegation. A day later, Anchorage police mentioned they and the FBI investigated and located no proof of legal conduct.

Audio of a profanity- and racist-laden voicemail additionally surfaced late Monday, wherein a girl who recognized herself as Athens and who rattled off her community affiliations threatened to kill Berkowitz, who’s Jewish, and his spouse. The audio of the Friday morning telephone name to Berkowitz was obtained by the net weblog The Alaska Landmine.

“The FBI Anchorage Discipline Workplace coordinated with the Anchorage Police Division within the early levels of their investigation into allegations made towards Mayor Berkowitz, regarding inappropriate photographs on an underage web site and threatening communications he obtained,” an FBI assertion launched Tuesday mentioned. “Primarily based on that preliminary investigation, there was no instant proof to help a violation of federal regulation; nevertheless, the FBI Anchorage Discipline Workplace continues to observe the state of affairs.”

Athens was arrested later Friday after trespassing within the tv studio after being advised she couldn’t return there. She allegedly accosted the station supervisor, who charging paperwork determine as her boyfriend, and she or he was arrested by police. Her story by no means aired.

Athens was charged with assault, legal mischief and disorderly conduct. She was launched Monday after posting bail.

In keeping with the town constitution, Felix Rivera, chairperson of the Anchorage Meeting, will function appearing mayor till a particular election is held.

Messages left with Berkowitz by way of his workplace, with Athens by way of Fb and with station administration haven’t been returned to The Related Press.

Berkowitz was elected to his second three-year time period as mayor in 2018. The nonpartisan place is proscribed to 2 phrases.

Berkowitz, a local of San Francisco, can also be a lawyer and Anchorage businessman. He served as a Democrat within the Alaska Home of Consultant from 1997 to 2006, serving the final two years as minority chief.