After being fired by Mayor Dave Bronson last December, and after the Anchorage Assembly refused to approve a negotiated settlement, former Anchorage Municipal Manager, Amy Demboski has taken legal action against the mayor and the municipality. Her lawsuit alleges “reckless disregard for the law and ethical standards.”
Some of the allegations were already known when Demboski threatened legal action against the city in January. But her lawyer Scott Kendall, who is a political foe of the mayor and supporter of opponent Suzanne LaFrance, has driven the knife deeper, including accusations of gender discrimination, retaliation, violations of whistleblower protections, and an inappropriate workplace relationship among members of his staff. Also, the lawsuit claims, defamation.
The Anchorage Assembly had been asked to settle the lawsuit with Demboski for $550,000, but the liberal majority, knowing this would become key to a campaign against the mayor, decided to refuse paying the agreed-to amount.
There are two unnamed co-defendants in the lawsuit, which names Bronson and the Muni.
Some of the accusations are essentially the same as those previously raised in Demboski’s initial complaint, but the new 24-page legal document introduces accusations of dysfunction, mismanagement, and even corruption in the Bronson administration. The accusations allege Larry Baker, an advisor to Bronson, acted wrongly regarding the navigation center the mayor proposed for Tudor and Elmore Roads, a project that was agreed to by the Assembly, but later was rejected by the same body.
The Assembly majority is hoping to use this red-on-red lawsuit as a form of an independent expenditure group against the mayor, who is running for reelection. This would mean that taxpayers will pay for the city’s expenses in the lawsuit, which will no-doubt damage the mayor’s hopes for reelection next April.