Mayor David Bronson applauded the Alaska Superior Court’s ruling that Assembly Ordinance 2020-79(S), which creates the Office of Equity and Justice in the Municipality of Anchorage, is invalid because it violates the Anchorage Municipal Charter.
The ruling came from Superior Court Judge Dani Crosby. Judge Crosby held that Assembly Ordinance 2020-79(S) is invalid because it conflicts with the charter provisions granting the mayor removal power of municipal department heads and establishing the separation of powers between the executive branch and the Assembly.
Judge Crosby found that the Anchorage Assembly created a municipal department under direct supervision of the mayor by placing the Office of Equity and Justice within the office of the mayor.
The court also found that because the Office is a municipal department, the Chief Equity Officer is a department head under the Charter. Judge Crosby held that the Charter prohibits any limitations on the mayor’s power to remove department heads.
Judge Crosby also held that the ordinance’s infringement upon the mayor’s power to remove department heads violates the charter’s separation of powers provision because it permits interference with powers explicitly delegated to the mayor.
“The ordinance the Assembly passed is a clear violation of my authority and executive powers,” said Bronson. “Since the beginning of my administration, this assembly has consistently infringed on the executive branch’s authority and purview. I applaud the Superior Court for their ruling protecting separations of powers and preventing the assembly’s repeated, autocratic overreaches of power.”
Attached is the ruling by Superior Court Judge Crosby.