Ethics committee finds against Rep. David Eastman - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, June 15, 2021
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Ethics committee finds against Rep. David Eastman

A legislative ethics committee, which heard evidence on July 17 about whether Rep. David Eastman disclosed confidential information to a reporter, found clear and convincing evidence that he did.

Eastman had been kicked off the ethics committee last year for violating the confidentiality of the committee. He asked for the hearing, which went on for hours and was televised on Alaska Legislature’s online television.

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Ethics Committee Decision on Eastman

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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

  • A true travesty of due process. They didn’t like his conservative stand on things, and his willingness to speak out for the unborn so they manufactured a way to take him out.

  • Sometimes you just have to do what’s right and in doing it rules are broken.

  • I attended the hearing because David is a friend. I attended not knowing exactly what was happening, except that David had been accused of an ethics violation… I never heard anything about the details of the accusation until the hearing started – so I had to learn about the accusation itself while listening to testimony, etc.

    When you consider that the ONLY witness against David got sick late the night before and couldn’t attend the hearing, your skepticism of the hearing should kick in just a bit. But when they tell us that the accusing witness can’t phone in, can’t reschedule, and then they go out of their way to tell us that the nature of the illness is “confidential,” you should get very skeptical.

    And then when the prosecuting attorney’s strongest accusation against David is that he didn’t argue for his defense strongly enough, or frequently enough in the year or so since the initial allegation was made, I thought I better go get my tin foil, because a conspiracy was forming that there might be something going on beyond the confidentiality of an ethics complaint.

    And when the Ethics Committee’s staff lawyer, Jerry Anderson, was asked about the quality and quantity of notes the accusing journalist took (because, that’s what journalists do, is take notes), and when Jerry Anderson was asked about the notes that he took when he received notice that confidentiality had been broken, he gave the same answer: “Nothing of substance.”

    The reason I mention the notes that any of the accusers took is two-fold:
    1. Journalists and lawyers take notes. A lot of notes. My background is commercial banking and insurance – and we take notes. A lot of notes. And the reason we do that is so that when a ‘he said / she said,’ scenario comes up, our notes are admissible as evidence, and often carry more weight than oral testimony based on memory.
    2. The issue of the quantity and quality of notes was a major theme for both the prosecution and defense. But the weight of those notes should have been, in the words of Jerry Anderson, “nothing of substance,” because if you watch the hearing video, that’s exactly the conclusion you’ll come to yourself.

    Finally, the state never – NEVER – made an issue of how David came into the possession of the confidential information he’s accused of leaking.

    Trial lawyers never ask questions they don’t know the answer to, and they never look for answers that don’t serve their purpose.

    These are just two of MANY holes that can be shot through this travesty of due process and justice.

    In order for David to have leaked information about a confidential ethics complaint filed less than 24 hours prior to his supposed confidentiality breach, one of only three people would have had to lead the information to him first.

    One of them flatly denied being the source. The other – Jerry Anderson – would likely do the same.

    But the third person (the target of the initial ethics complaint that David Eastman supposedly leaked) was as conspicuously absent from the witness stand as the accusing journalist.

    If you watch the video(s), you’ll come to the same conclusion as I did:
    – No credible witnesses
    – No credible testimony
    – No credible evidence

    And no credible due process.

    All administered by a Select Committee on Ethics that seems to lack the credibility to pass judgement on another’s ethics.

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