Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has asked for the resignation of Marc Dahl, the information technology director for Anchorage. But he also says that Dahl did nothing unusual regarding the April 11 election.
“Yesterday evening the Anchorage Assembly authorized the use of subpoenas to force testimony and the production of documentation to further investigate the events surrounding the April 11 election complaint. This motion is an extreme measure by the Assembly that is completely unnecessary,” Bronson said.
“My administration has been involved and active throughout the investigation process – both with the Ombudsman’s office and with the Assembly. We have been responsive to the public records requests and within the timeframe legally required to respond, we have fulfilled the public records requests by the Assembly, and provided our responses to the Ombudsman’s suggestions listed in his report,” he said.
“The Ombudsman’s report outlines no illegal activity conducted by Mr. Dahl, so I do not understand the Assembly’s extreme motion to use legal action to get information we have already been providing. The policy Mr. Dahl implemented is of sound practice and often used by governmental agencies, non-profits and private businesses and the Ombudsman acknowledges that in his final report,” Bronson said.
“I acknowledge the importance of safeguarding the election process and that any policy designed to do that should go through the formal MOA policy approval process. With that said, I agree that Mr. Dahl’s involvement in the election complaint is worth looking into. The timeline in which the events took place and the lack of MOA process followed is questionable,” he said. “I have asked for Mr. Dahl’s resignation and my team is working with him on those details.”
The Assembly month received a final investigative report from the Ombudsman, which said it found evidence of collaboration between a mayoral appointee (Dahl) and Election Observer Sami Graham “to subvert the electoral process during the 2023 Regular Municipal Election.” The Ombudsman referred the entire matter to the Department of Law.
The Assembly then held a work session on Friday and, in coordination with the Anchorage Daily News, came up with five questions it wants answered relating to unsubstantiated claims against the mayor, including leading questions:
- Who was involved?
- What is the administration hiding?
- Why hasn’t Mayor Bronson spoken about the incident?
- When will the administration take action on Dahl?
- Can Anchorage residents trust their government to do the right thing?
“Although they had weeks to prepare, the Administration did little at the worksession to provide the information that Assembly Members—and the public—have repeatedly requested,” said Assembly Chair Christopher Constant during the meeting, as quoted in a press release from Constant. “Assembly members compelled Assembly Leadership to produce legislation that could get us closer to the truth. We can’t propose a solution if we don’t understand the problem.”
The resolution authorizes the Assembly’s attorney to subpoena documents and testimony, and, if needed, pursue litigation to compel the production of records related to the alleged election tampering case, the Assembly wrote.