Emergency order: North Slope Mayor Brower seizes Ravn hangar, assets - Must Read Alaska
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Saturday, June 6, 2020
HomePoliticsEmergency order: North Slope Mayor Brower seizes Ravn hangar, assets

Emergency order: North Slope Mayor Brower seizes Ravn hangar, assets

North Slope Borough Mayor Harry Brower, Jr. acted quickly upon learning that RavnAir Group had grounded all of its flights Sunday and will file for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy rules.

Brower issued an emergency order Sunday commandeering the hangar and associated assets of RavnAir Group that are located in the borough.

The mayor is acting under the authority of his emergency declaration for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic that he issued in March.

Since Ravn has provided vital freight and passenger services to North Slope villages of Atqasuk, Point Lay, Wainwright, Nuiqsut, and Kaktovik, Brower doesn’t want those communities to be stranded.

“The North Slope Borough immediately takes possession of all assets controlled by Ravn within the boundaries of the North Slope Borough. This order includes, but is not limited to buildings — including hangars, equipment, operations manuals, parts, supplies, vehicles, airplanes. It includes intangible assets such as leases and security access codes,” Brower’s order says.

The order applies to RavnAir assets in Utqiagvik and Deadhorse.

The borough is also reserving the right to request and receive immediate cooperation from any current or former employee or contractor of Ravn to help set up freight and passenger airline service using the assets of Ravn for North Slope Borough communities.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • The USSR would be proud…

    • Good place to store this summer’s harvest of bowhead. Awaiting shipment of beer. Muktuk and a Bud for the village.

      • Corona is now on sale.

  • Don’t think the Bankruptcy Trustee is going to like this…

  • Whoever advised him that throwing a fit when he doesn’t get his usual wine with dinner should be fired. And if he consulted no one, he should be fired.
    His actions could be likened to how one particular culture in the US is often found looting and burning the very businesses that serve them if things don’t go their way.
    Poor example when this mayor shows up again asking for more money for whatever the cause of the month is.
    Private enterprise destroyed again because govt thought they could do it better.

  • Terrifying

  • I’d like to know what constitutional or statutory authority lies behind an order to seize a private company’s assets. And I don’t think that a preceding emergency proclamation issued by the same government qualifies as legal justification.

    Hard to imagine anything that could legitimize this theft by government proclamation…at least not in a country founded on the protection of private property rights.

  • There are tons of Companies that file bk every year….i have never heard of a borough seizing assets before….if I owned Ravn, and had knowledge that the borough planned on seizing my planes & hangar, I would have set it on fire beforehand!!

    • Naw. The damages the North Slope Borough will pay on this one might be enough to get Ravn out of bankruptcy. Cheers –

  • Why not just stick to the tried and true North Slope method of whining and crying until the State or Feds fix it for free?

    Wouldn’t it be easier to try a lawsuit? Surely it wouldn’t be hard to find a Superior Court judge willing to order someone else to pay for the problem.

  • RAVN Air will be winning big in the end. The mayor does not have the authority to seize their property under emergency or not. If there was an agreement in place between parties then the transfer / loaning of property could take place. Looking forward to watching the civil suit on this one. Too many libtard mayor’s out there suffering dilusions of adequacy and believing that by simply declaring an emergency they have the right to bypass the law.

  • What happens when that last paragraph runs up against “No”?

  • Unprecedented seizure of private property! What’s behind this?

  • This should be an interesting fight I’m betting they lose because of the chapter 11 but we’ll see

  • Bankrupcy Judge will work it out…Ravn will be a debtor in possession when a chapter 11 is filed. It will stay everything in other courts…..Ravn will be able to continue to operate, will be bought out by someone bigger, create a new business model based on charter flights or do something else.

  • Thanks for reporting this, Suzanne. Any criticism of such bad behavior will be met with cries of racism. This bad behavior is bad no matter who does it. And you simply reported the facts. I hope folks can draw their own conclusions based on some moral compass.

  • I am worried that this will give Comrade Ethan all kinds of ideas. Perhaps he will convert the phalanx at APD into the Ministry for Internal Security.

    More seriously, this is going to take years to untangle.

    • The comrade isn’t in charge of tribal land. The lease of tribal property will be litigated. Depends on the fine print.

  • Doesn’t the NSB bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year in taxes? Doesn’t the NSB have hundreds of millions of dollars in reserves? Couldn’t the NSB have used some of their vast wealth to pay a company, say like Ravn, to continue these much needed flights?

  • I want Kyle Hopkins and ProPublica to investigate and explain to us how this all works.

  • What I think is missing here is the Why…
    As of a few days ago Ravn had the contract to unload and distribute the cargo coming off of NAC 737 aircraft from Anchorage and Barrow, roughly 35,000 pounds per aircraft sometimes 3 flights a day, of groceries and many other items.
    This is merely gaining access to building and vehicles needed to service these flights, and maintain continuity of the supply chain.
    Not an ALL Out confiscation of assets.

  • I’ve seized assets myself, had a guy owed me on a contract and he tried to skip and filed for bankruptcy. I traveled to three towns collecting his assets and bringing them home. As you can imagine, the deadbeat called the Troopers who showed up in my yard, looking over the assets stored there. When I told them I didn’t steal the assets, that I seized them because the guy owed me, and filed bankruptcy to try to get around paying me, the Troopers said it’s a civil matter and none of their business. They left.
    When I showed up at bankruptcy court and let them know I had the assets and was owed more than the asset were worth, the court said I had to file a claim for what I was owed. Some bank tried to say they owned the assets I had, sent me a letter I never responded to. Never heard from them again. Assets are still mine, never did get whole from the bankruptcy, something about larger debtors having higher priority. So the lesson I learned was if you are owed and if they try bankruptcy and you can seize assets, you’d best do so, or you might not get a thing. Brower just might have saved his town from losing significant money owed. If Ravn owed the borough, Brower might just be perfectly within his rights to seize the assets.

    What I do know is I don’t know the whole story yet so I can’t say he did anything wrong.

    • Bill,
      You had to trespass onto private property in order to repossess. How did you keep from getting shot?

      • …what makes you think I had to trespass?

        Owners of the property I entered knew I was there and knew why I was there.

        Weird world you imagine.

    • You know of course that you went about it illegally.

      • If I went about it illegally, as you and others make that assumption, why did the Troopers not arrest me when the bankrupt leech called them?

        Why didn’t the bankruptcy court refer me to a prosecutor.

        Why didn’t the bank who claimed to own the assets send a trooper.

        Why would you assume I had not consulted with lawyers all throughout the process.

        You might doublecheck your misconceptions before making accusations.

        • …….because the owners didn’t press trespass charges?…….duh.
          If you cross another’s private property without a court order, or a State Trooper in tow, you are trespassing. …..yes, even if you are trying to reclaim your personal property, for an alleged
          repossession. I would have shot you on the spot, Bill, and claimed that you were on my property trying to cause me great bodily harm. Self-defense. You are a lucky guy (that it wasn’t my property).

          • As I said, property owners knew I was there, I was not trespassing, they were not against my being there and seizing the assets.

            Weird world you live in too.

        • Because not everyone who takes the law into their own hands gets prosecuted. It doesn’t make it right comrade.

          • Your assumption has no basis in reality.

            My actions were not illegal.

            They were backed up by court precedent which I provided below.

            Your assumption is in error.

  • This virus that is now officially forecasted to be not as dangerous as the seasonal flu sure has emboldened these Fascist Politicians. The answer to 1984 is 1776!

    • Hey Mongo, care to comment on this?

      https://www.the-sun.com/news/645016/fears-coronavirus-hide-cells-reactivate-recovered-patients-test-positive/

      Also could you please cite your official source?

      • Its the IHME model, They lowered their bogus model because they had to. Lookup places like Sweden that haven’t descended into medical fascism and have similar numbers. 3% of people having symptoms in AK tested have the virus, which means 97% have a different virus. Your link is just pure Fear Porn being put out by the MSM..

        • You’re going to look funny peeing through a straw.

          .

          Reinfections have been reported for over a month now.

        • Mongo. The IHME guidance hasn’t been peer reviewed and assumes social distancing (unlike Sweden or the Mat-Su) through May.

          .

          Places that don’t perform “medical fascism” won’t fit the model. Do you agree with stay at home orders continuing through May?

          • Uh, Mongo, it’s not the result of only one study.

            Time to start hoarding candy and stop trying to push back the tide of a global pandemic.

  • A privileged high-cast Native soon to be disabused of his notion that his authority within his borough extends to infinity.

    • He may have had a legal right. You don’t know.

      • Maybe the 5th amendment doesn’t apply in the North Slope Borough.

  • Ravn is cannot be taken if no money is owed if it is owed they must make a claim

  • So they think they can nationalize Ravn? LOL. Does he think he’s Qaddafi?

    .

    A little cabin fever.

    • Should have gone through the legal system instead of taking matters in his own hands with the parcel on federal trust land.

      • VIVA VENEZUELA!!!

        lol

  • This village does have an idiot!

  • One thing is for sure: when the Planet of the Apes government does something resembling work, there is always a personal motive driving the action.

  • Wow – are we going to start seeing a bunch of puffed – up, little local officials acting like Banana Republic dictators now? If Ravn doesn’t owe the Borough a considerable amount of money then this is illegal ( or should be!)

  • Worse. He is seizing private property on state facilities built with federal dollars. I can think of no better reason for bans on firearms at airports to be lifted. The boy is channeling his inner Hugo Chavez. Cheers –

  • Maybe the Fairbanks Borough, the Mat-Su, and Municipality of Anchorage, can seize Ravn property in their jurisdictions. The aircraft are all in those 3 locations. Then the boroughs could just start it back up. Government entities do not have to comply with Federal Aviation regulations. You could take this down the line with government entities, “seizing ” what they need to do something. Of course, that is exactly what happened during World War II, I believe.

  • This dumb — mayor is like several others in this state that have committed to unconstitutional acts against Alaskans who are American citizens that still have constitutional rights. It is time these individuals are removed and made fully accountable for their egregious actions over a politicized issue that is already statistically falling with treatment. Just in the past year alone the flu has killed far more people in the US alone, 99.9% of Americans do not have COVID19 over 98% of those who have tested positive, recover this will be day 4 when the new cases number declines. As of this moment, 1/10th of 1% of Americans are “infected” by COVID-19. But 100% are “affected” by it!!!

  • Interesting move here, I wonder if the Mayor in his infinite wisdom has considered the liability part of the equation. Seems that operating an Airline is fraught with risk, Aircraft need to be maintained and is the Mayor paying Hull and passenger insurance? My guess is not.

    If the Mayor wanted to bring a resolution to this crisis he could have approached RVAN with a buyout offer, using some of that Borough slush fund money, but then who wants to own an Airline?

  • You would think this took place in Venezuela not Alaska.
    I know nothing about FAA licensing, but I do recognize felony theft.
    I don’t understand what authority a simple mayor has. That makes him think he has the authority to break into, commandeer a airlines assets, and then fly their planes. You would think that even with certified pilots. The borough would need FAA approval, and a insurance policy. Without a complete/honest inventory being done. What is gonna be done to protect and stop theft/looting, of any items from Ravn properties?
    Heads need to roll, and azzes need to be put in jail over this!

    Take care be safe.
    God bless.
    Griz

  • Tenth Circuit held that the act of passively holding on to an asset does not violate the automatic stay and that the automatic stay does not impose an affirmative obligation to return property.

    In doing so, the court followed the prior holding of the D.C. Circuit

    As I said before, if the borough is owed, the seizure could very well be a prudent action to protect the borough from losing what it’s owed.

    I am not a lawyer, but I do know my own experience demonstrates many of the comments here are misconceived.

    • First of all,. Chapter 11 is a reorganization, not a liquidation of assets. Ravn Air is expecting to be flying again, but they can’t if the Borough confiscates that which they use to generate income.

      Second, even if it WAS a Chapter 7 liquidation, ALL creditors have a right to the proceeds from the sale of the assets, in a well-established order of precedence – not surprisingly, the Federal government (aka, IRS), has first priority. No SINGLE creditor can usurp the order of precedence – that’s for a BANKRUPTCY COURT to decide.

    • IMO a lien against Ravn’s assets would have been the proper course of action. Asset seizures are usually done only after getting an award in lieu of judgement.

      • But not always, the courts recognized this and that’s why they set a precedent that negates your assumption.

        Seems the real world isn’t what you imagine, imagine that.

  • The mayor is just adding to his fleet:

    N401ES BELL 412 HELICOPTER
    N402ES BELL 412 HELICOPTER
    N408SR BEECH KING AIR B300C
    N785SR BELL HELICOPTER 206L-1
    N789SR LEARJET 31A
    N827HB PILATUS PC-24 (2019!!)
    N917CB SIKORSKY S-92A

    • Yeah, the Slope is hurting for the money.

  • Based on what is reported, we sincerely hope Alaska’s U.S. Attorney prosecutes North Slope Borough officials who authorized and conducted what appears to be a clearly illegal search and seizure conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
    .
    Based on what is reported, we sincerely hope Ravn Air corporate officials prevail in a civil lawsuit against North Slope Borough officials who authorized and conducted what appears to be a clearly illegal search and seizure conducted in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

  • The North Slope savings account has $1.5 billion in it. They can buy Ravn, not steal it.

  • The state attorney general has officially stated that Brower has no right or authority to take the steps he has taken. That is nothing new for the Brower family who runs the North Slope like its own private fiefdom. I would sure love to see a full audit of the family and every entity they have their grubby paws on. You may recall Charlotte Brower was recalled in 2015 for spending many thousands of dollars of borough money on family and personal expenses. “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    • And you do remember that same Charlotte Brower bragged that her people would re-elect her, even after that debacle. She was probably right.

    • This is why we never, ever, ever vote democrat.

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