Politics of personal destruction: Candidate Charlie Pierce and Kenai Borough sued over harassment complaint


Charlie Pierce, running for governor and on the Nov. 8 ballot that has the final four candidates, is the subject of a lawsuit by his former executive assistant, who says he sexually harassed her.

Before Pierce had even been able to see the charges, the Anchorage Daily News was given the documents and broke the story of Pam Highley Wastell, who named the Kenai Peninsula Borough and Pierce in her lawsuit. The story was reminiscent of the story the ADN broke about former ANTHC executive Andy Teuber, which came as ambush journalism.

Pierce has referred all questions to his attorney, but the timing of the lawsuit brings up questions as to timing and intent, since Pierce is a Republican candidate. Pierce was Kenai Borough mayor for seven years, leaving office in September to focus on his campaign for governor. He is a long-shot to win, as Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has the momentum, the campaign infrastructure and is polling well with voters.

“I made no comment and will refer any questions to my attorney Richie Moses,” Pierce said to Must Read Alaska.

A personnel complaint has been ongoing since July but the details of it were not made public. Must Read Alaska has learned that the woman was not offered a financial settlement that satisfied her, and hence took legal action.

The newspaper story says that Pierce sexually harassed the woman by making sexual innuendos, inappropriate touching, and what she described as sexual advances.


  1. I’m not sure why Charlie chose this moment to run. He doesn’t seem to have assembled a good statewide machine, and the GOP is formally team Dunleavy.

    I think two main possibilities. 1-Get out there and let his faux dirty laundry get aired now. 2-Hubris.

    • There are those that like Charlie and his policies–and are not all too thrilled with Dunleavy–but know that Dunleavy has a huge advantage. So now–they have someone to rank #2 and when Charlie is eliminated, those votes go to Dunleavy. RCV has a few stalking horse qualities… It still needs to go…

  2. I know imagine that, the skullduggery of it all, members of the opposite genders exhibiting physical attraction. It’s too much really. How do the left alternates get intimate practices. Well, rather than wondering, I suppose elementary library books can inform in these turbulent end days of the approaching apocolypse in dumb Alaska. Oh the heightened sensitivities. Spare me the details. I’m not interested in the details of: your frigidity, sensitivities, understandings, or miss understandings. Adults navigate through life even in Alaska. Thanks. Ever so much.

  3. If they can go after Trump, they can go after Charlie! What’s the world coming to when a woman can just accuse a man of being a man and it shaped an election?!?! And this is coming from the same Lame Stream Media that went after our beloved Joe Gerace with their gotcha politics! And look at how innocent Joe was!!!

  4. This sounds like a case of he says-she says. Don’t worry it’ll be forgotten when the governor is sworn in unless he is pierce.
    Men leaders have to exercise caution and descretion working around women. We are highly emotional and many times we get intents wrong especially when a guy around us women has money and power. Now this generation seeing why the great-great grandparents (born 1890-) kept women out of co-ed management positions. After the early 19th century rich and powerful men had wives, so they knew how women are. Hahaha.

  5. Charlie needs to drop out. He has no chance to win and will only draw votes away from Dunleavy. Some of you may not like Dunleavy but he’s the best we got. Let’s go in with one Republican and let the Democrats split the vote, making it much easier for Dunleavy and less opportunity for the Democrats to cheat.

      • Or Charlie is innocent until proven otherwise. Vote Charlie for good fiscal leadership that won’t bow to howls and whines of the don’t cut my piece of the pie like dunleavy did time after time.

    • There is no splitting the vote if Pierce voters rank Dunleavy second, which they will do. It just takes another round of counting.

    • Charlie Pierce should not abandon his candidacy for governor. Though his chance of prevailing is very remote he has valuable things to say about government and the campaign. His candor is a breath of fresh political air.

  6. Pam Wastell is the same Executive Assistant that worked for Navarre and had a photo of her, him and Walker on her desk….Go figure!

    And her delusional allegations ‘falsely imprisoned in his office’, ‘touched her breast’… Ms Executive Assistant this constitutes CRIMES… you, since you’re an EXECUTIVE assistant know that crimes need reported to the police, why didn’t you report it at the time? You’re not credible!

    We won’t be buying coffee from Lift and Sip, your new coffee stand on Kbeach—-
    —- can’t support your delusional toxicity.

    • Um – Did you say Walker? That same sanctimonious ex governor that Alaska voted out of office in 2018? The same one who would not shake Mike Dunleavy’s hand at the end of the last televised debate? The same one who’s (former?) Chief of Staff, Scott Kendall, has made a career out of attempting to torpedo everything Big Mike has been trying to get done for the last four years? That one? And this was supposed to take place during the last 7 years or so? But it has only come out since Pierce has run for governor? And of course, not a word from the press or bloggers like Dermot Cole on the sins of the Walker or Gara people. As Suzanne says, the timing is suspect. This is also the same group (Scott Kendall and Walker) who are trying to connect Dunleavy with so-called “dark money” but who allege that their own group is inviolate on that matter because they wrote the rules so APOC cannot investigate them. Of course, the press is silent on that one. Someone get the febreze, the stench is getting over-powering!

  7. The Democrats are experts at planting these gotcha seeds in government local , state , and Federal, they have been doing this now for at least 40 years I know of! The Lunacy of these Modern Day Democrats has become The biggest threat we face as a Country now days, they are a cancer in our Country , their Intent is real, and they intend to destroy our Constitutional Republic from with in. The Charlie Peirce I seen in the Debate 3 days ago was easily the best candidate on that stage, and Dunleavy wasn’t bad, but he was obviously nervous , he had 2 Clowns throwing spit balls at him the entire debate, Gara and Walker had absolutely no ideas, and no serious qualifications, but they both made countless grade school accusations , and neither are good at it! And how Alaskans all ready had Elected Walker once is embarrassing if not mind boggling . ya better Get it Right this election Alaska or you will regret it , wokeness and the Liberal Progessive Socialist are at your doorstep, if you let them in your state, you will never get them out, these people have made their plan, and their working the plan. Take some free advice From a Out of state fan of Alaska who lives in a state run by Socialist Loons in Washington State! Only the Corrupt and the Freeloaders benefit from These Loons, Get it Right Alaskans!

  8. I don’t whether Charlie is guilty or innocent, but I am getting pretty sick of these politically-timed accusations again conservatives (which especially occur if the conservative happens to be black). Because of the timing (as well as a few other things), I am am inclined to believe he is innocent.

  9. I’ll fill in the oval even deeper for pierce and Grunwald. This insanity has to stop. Conservatives better step up and rally against this BS for ALL candidates who are being attacked. #electionfraud

  10. Pierce seems kind of like a low energy low effort kind of guy. Good to see that he’s finally being held accountable for his actions. What comes around is all around. Charlie messed around and he found out, now the hard working taxpayers of the Kenai Borough are going to pay. Bigly. Maybe Big Mike should hire him to be his next AG

  11. If you know Charlie you know his values, morals, compassion, and his personal standards. I know he is the leader we need. The left is for the degradation morality yet also they love to demoralized people who are successful by hard work.

    Alaskans have a chance to turn away from the path of decline by votng Charlie first and Mike second. Slanderous claims by the left is nothing new as a tool to destroy good people. Remember Oliver North….he looked so bad but it was all a distortion to destroy a person of moral standards.

    The odds of this being posted are nil.

  12. Pam is Mayor Mike Navarre’s secretary now — YES the same Mike Navarre, that is co-chair of Bill Walker’s campaign. ‘https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lnMcJICYjrc.

    I wonder if she realizes how much she’s being used by the Walker administration? Drama fest. Best show in town!

  13. Is this the woman who claimed harassment because Charlie tried to cut off her taxpayer funded “clothing allowance” which she enjoyed for years courtesy of a former Borough Mayor? Inquiring minds want to know.

  14. After watching the debate on PBS, I was disappointed with the all the candidates. No one said original PFD formula like Dunleavy did last election. Charlie did seem low energy.
    This lawsuit is the reason sharp successful business people don’t run for office and we get retired teachers or people like Charlie. We need fighters line Bernadette and Jamie or a successful conservative business person to run. But disclosure laws and skeletons in the closet keep good people out.

  15. I’ll be voting for Governor Dunleavy. I know neither Dunleavy nor Pierce personally, and I have no desire to add to the drama of the Republican Party. Stay the course, vote Dunleavy!

  16. I suggest all Alaskans watch the first 15 minutes of Tonight’s Oct 23rd Mark Levins Life, Liberty and Levin Show, he goes through exactly what’s been going on throughout our Country precisely. And how we got in this situation Nationally , These people who look to destroy any people are good by any means, they are funded by people who hate our Country, they look to destroy and demoralize anyone with real values who are a threat to their Views of Lunacy and Lies, Check it out Alaskans, it relates very much to this subject, like I said before they are at your Door Step. A bonus is Kelly TShibaka is actually also on the program towards the end of it! Keep these Loons out of Alaska, your our Last great Hope!

    • Typically, in response to an Outsider’s advice, we would say that we don’t care how it’s done Outside.

      • Well, better become familiar with the tactics, because they are coming here rapidly. Just watch the nasty commercials, funded by outside interests.

  17. The Kenai Peninsula Borough SHOULD NOT fire this employee— that’s what this attorney wants. She’s taken this on a contingency basis and will get 1/3 of what you settle for. DON’T FALL FOR IT at all.

    Just let her go AWOL forever, abandoned the job, that’s what they want, they want her to get fired then they have a better chance at this frivolous lawsuit. Don’t be so reactive on this one!

    Just let her go — grant her LWOP forever. Nothing requires her to be fired or released — just let her go AWOL forever. Don’t pay any more Administrative Pay and let her medical insurance run out. Quit paying into her retirement. Don’t buy the noise!

    Be smart Borough — don’t fall for this! They just want you to fire her! This is politically motivated to destroy the Pierce campaign. Talk to a high powered attorney — get some expert advice before you do anyting!

    • Cindy, you need an editor, but do I gather that you are blaming the female and not Kenai Peninsula Mayor Charlie Pierce?

  18. I stand w Charlie. He’s taken solid stands on boro finances, covid response and how to produce results.

    Maybe this was why the Assy & Navarre were in such a hurry to pull a coup….?

    Vote Red, Rank Red – I’m voting Dunleavy & Charlie.

    • He produced results because:

      1. KPB residence are paying $3-5 million more yearly in sales tax (you get taxed on amazon/ebay/etc now)
      2. COVID = Tons of Federal money

      And he’s getting called on harassment because he is harasses. He’s not a good person.

  19. Never allow yourself to be alone with a woman who is not your wife. If you can’t do that, don’t work with women. Sad times. If a guy touches your breast and it’s unwelcome, slap his face kick his groin. It’s sexual abuse. Fight back, call the cops, my wife would. If you don’t, that says something and don’t give me the typical victim bs line “I’m afraid.” If you cant deal with men, don’t work with them. And if men can’t be respectful and honoring of women, they fully deserve that kick to the groin. A lawsuit, well after the supposed event…….foul, don’t buy it. Edie, you know something????? No…then stand your ground. Charlie, if you are that guy, you need your butt kicked. If your not, learn the lesson. Trust is precious and you don’t just give it away.

  20. Totally obvious it’s All BS, any women at any time can make these same accusations about any man, how simple it is . These type of scenarios always seem to have the the same type of circumstances, so to me the only real clue to the real truth is the timing, the timing of these type of accusations tells the entire story. How easy it is when you work in any Government position just to say something happened and instantly your in line for a big dollar settlement at the hands of the tax payers. These cases all need to be brought to trial as far as I’m concerned, and if you can’t prove it. The false accuser should be fined or Jailed. If something was done in cases like this, it should be reported immediately. But liars tend to take lots of time before they make accusations , that’s been proven time and time again, it’s all for money, power and attention! Why is there not a requirement when being hired in any Public or Private sector position that in the real cases of wrong doings, it must be reported immediately. There is no logical reason not to immediately come forward with these type of accusations unless there’s a motive or made up. When your injured or hurt at work, you are suppose to report it immediately so it can be documented, there’s a reason these rules are posted in every work place! Just one other common sense Example, some guy drives down the street and side swipes my Car, then drives away hit and run, I’ve got the license plate and a description of him, yet I choose not to call the cops at the time , but then decide months or years later to call it in. Who does that? Total bogus hit job!

  21. Charlie was mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough for five years, not seven. KPB mayoral terms are three years each, and instead of finishing the second term, he submitted a resignation as this latest claim got hot.
    Generally, folks would balk at that kind of behavior…after all, the clean up required when someone resigns early from office before the term they asked the voters for is over, special elections to replace them cost the taxpayers money…kind of like other costly behavior in his case. Not very “fiscally conservative” of him. And come on…his statement that he left his Borough obligation early because he needed to focus on that smokin’ hot gubernatorial campaign of his – none of his fans can even repeat that with a straight face.

    Some folks may not care if this or other claims over the years have been true…rather, judging by these comments, they seem to salivate over this kind of bullying, shake-your-hand-too-hard, mysogonistic, scare-tactic kind of a man in office…government employees getting what they deserve, right? Yeah, don’t worry…it’s pretty obvious Charlie isn’t liked because he’s a “great guy”. Hell, many of his fans don’t even WANT him to be one. And along those lines, they don’t seem to care whether the latest claims against him, or any of those beforehand, are true…because “she” seems to be a democrat, right? Have any of these same Charlie-supporters asked why she was reportedly offered a settlement, if the claims she made, (apparently corroborated by an outside investigative firm hired by the borough) aren’t a reasonable threat?

    Well, at least there is some good news in the end. He’s gone from the KPB…the KPB can start to repair the damage and hope they’ve seen their last Pierce-related claim to pay for. He’s not getting anywhere near the state’s throne with this bore of a campaign, so we won’t have to pay for new tomfoolery at the state level. Yes, it’s been an expensive lesson…but perhaps political characters mimicking “Boss Hogg” behavior don’t have the upper hand anymore and are finally aging-out. Even in Alaska.


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