Maria Athens was arraigned Saturday and remains in custody at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center this weekend. The charges against the television anchor are Criminal Mischief, Assault 4, and disorderly conduct.
Police took Athens, 41, into custody in the parking lot of Coastal Television Broadcasting in Anchorage after an altercation with a man in the station’s parking lot on Tudor Road.
She had been preparing to broadcast an explosive story about Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, but the station manager, who is said to be her fiancé, was preventing her from going forward with the story.
In a hastily done Facebook broadcast at 12:08 pm on Friday, Athens told the social media world she would have details on the 9 pm news that involved a story about Berkowitz, supposedly photos of his genitals, and an underage Alaskan’s web page. That never happened.
Later, she posted a couple of nude pictures of the back of a man, which she implied was the mayor. By 9 pm, she was in custody and the station made no mention of the incident on their evening broadcasts.
Within hours, the Anchorage Police said an investigation had been done and the allegations were baseless.
More than 30 hours after the drama unfolded with thousands of Alaskans watching on Facebook, the Anchorage Daily News had made no mention of it. But midday on Saturday, Alaska’s News Source reported it this way:
“The incident took place shortly after Athens took to social media to post unsubstantiated allegations against Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. Though Athens posted that she would cover the story during her late night broadcast on Your Alaska Link, the story never aired.”
The mayor is now under a 24-hour protection detail from Anchorage Police, and his office issued a denial of the allegations on Friday midday, but has not made any statements since. The Mayor’s Office has not explained why the mayor has police stationed outside his home.