Smoking gun: Docs show Municipal Clerk spying, passing mayor's confidential information to Assembly leadership - Must Read Alaska
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HomePoliticsSmoking gun: Docs show Municipal Clerk spying, passing mayor’s confidential information to Assembly leadership

Smoking gun: Docs show Municipal Clerk spying, passing mayor’s confidential information to Assembly leadership

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In a series of communications accessed through a public records request with the Municipality, it appears that Anchorage Assembly Vice Chair Chris Constant has been directing the Municipal Clerk to spy on the computer files of the Anchorage Mayor’s Office and report to him what the mayor has planned.

The evidence is seen in a text exchange from Constant to Municipal Manager Amy Demboski. In it, Constant says that the way that the confirmation hearings were submitted to the “Onbase” scheduling system made it difficult for Assembly leadership, and they wanted the names broken up for the agenda.

It’s clear in the text exchange that Demboski had not submitted the names yet for the final agenda. They were still in her workflow files.

But Constant said he got the information, which was a still a deliberative document, from Municipal Clerk Barbara Jones.

Jones works for the Assembly, not for the Mayor’s Office, and also runs Anchorage elections. During the recent election, she and the Bronson for Mayor campaign clashed over access and transparency in how she was running her operations in her Ship Creek offices, where the ballots were being counted.

Constant, on the other hand, has a close relationship with the clerk, and brought her a bouquet of flowers during the ballot counting process, while he was working as a top deputy for Forrest Dunbar for mayor.

Here’s the text exchange that’s the smoking gun that Constant was directing Jones to access confidential documents:

At this point in the exchange between Demboski and Constant, it becomes clear that he had gone back to Jones for more information about where the document was. It was in the HR director’s files, Constant told Demboski in his follow-up comment:

With Jones looking over the shoulder of the Mayor’s Office workflow and work products, the Assembly, which is run by a hardcore liberal majority, has an advantage, knows the direction Mayor Bronson is going to take on any issue that might come before the Assembly. How long she has been passing confidential information to the Assembly is the subject of an ongoing Must Read Alaska inquiry.

The text exchange raises some serious separation of powers issues, and will pose a challenge to the trust between the branches of government.

Another document on the same topic, also accessed through the public records request, explained the problem, as Demboski notified the Municipal Attorney about the breach of confidentiality that is occurring is and whether it should be addressed:

Patrick [Bergt], 
Last night Assembly Member Constant raised a concern to me that our forth coming nominees were submitted on one AM. I was perplexed because no such AM has made it to me for approval to the Assembly agenda. Further text query to Chris indicated the Municipal Clerk told him that the document was in OnBase queued with HR. 
This raises a significant concern to me that a separate branch of government is reviewing internal executive branch work products that are confidential and deliberative until such time they have been approved by me. 
Please see below screenshots. 

Read Must Read Alaska’s earlier story on Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar attempting to obtain the deliberative documents belonging to the Executive Branch by going directly to department heads and asking them for draft budget documents:

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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

  • Good sleuthing, Suzanne. It is clear that Barbara Jones has breached her duty of trust with the Anchorage voters by assisting an Assembly member with confidential information. This is a violation of the Clerk to remain fair, neutral and honest in her dealings with a local government body. She can no longer be trusted. She must resign immediately or be terminated.

  • Arrest them immediately with news cameras rolling.

  • Barbara Jones needs to be removed from any oversight of the upcoming recall of Meg Zaletel. To say she is compromised is an understatement. She cannot and should not be trusted.

    • Exactly why the clerks office should not be under the assemblies control. Should be a independant position with immediate removal, for siding either way. Kinda a worker bee job

  • WOW, Constant spying and Palmer City Council members holding secret meetings. When will the book get thrown at these people?

    • Never, just like at the Federal level, they all seem to get away with it.

    • Can you elaborate on the secret meetings held by the Palmer city members?

  • Someone needs to lose their job.

  • This explains why the last mayoral election had such a bad smell to it.

  • Suzanne, just wanted to let you know that the link referencing this article in the MRAK Must Read Friday newsletter leads to the Iditarod website.

  • Banana Republic.

  • If the clerk has access and is feeding intel to the assembly, this is a user permission issue with the database. Privileged information (for both sides) should be restricted to those with a need to know and logged for violations. Weak security management, but there needs to be a push from the Mayor’s office to protect their data and demand that IT does the complete job.

    Having seen the muni and state pay scales, there is no way they are attracting top security talent. Can’t insert a wink and nod in the job description about padding overtime so you too can make effective salary like these fire, union, an power line special cases..

    • It’s possible that this was access that was granted to get by the prior administration without the current mayor’s knowledge. I do agree that the IT dept needs to be addressed but that doesn’t mitigate the ethical issue raised here.

      • Agreed, not a mitigation for the ethical lapses by any means. The appearance of improper access alone is enough for removal, let alone evidence of abusing the lax security.

    • I agree that solid IT security is a must! Very good point.

    • The appearance of impropriety, favoritism & corruption is huge here. If either had an ounce of honor or integrity they would resign.

  • City Clerk Barbara Jones actions prove at every turn that she has no place in government, but then again neither do three quarters of the assembly!

    • This ALONE proves she cannot be trusted for any further elections AND she needs to be removed from her job at the elections “central”. This has nothing to do with the Dominion machines, It’s right here in person.

  • I hope Bronson fires her ASAP.

    • Oh, looks like he can’t, if she works for the Assembly.

      • Which is exactly why the position needs to be eliminated from assembly control, and be a simple municipal position, which can be discharged for previous actions she has committed. She sure as shat should not be in charge of elections, probably a proven independant person should hold that position

    • I fear that if he fired her, it would look bad for him. It is a similar situation to what Trump had to deal with: had he fired a lot of deep-statists (which he SHOULD have fired but felt he couldn’t) the Democrats and the media would have been all over him. The “optics” for Bronson firing her would look vindictive. No, this woman feels like she is insulated from any repercussions. He can only get rid of her for blatant illegality. Perhaps this is such a case.
      She needs to go, since it is clear that she is nothing but a schill.

  • Ethics? Must be another term for today’s trash bin!

  • Had anyone filled ethics complaints and if not, why?

  • Firing and immediate removal is in order!

  • If she can’t be fired, she should be immediately frozen out of any and all activities concerning the mayor.

    See if she or Dunbar are subject to ethics charges and level them.

    • Roger that.

  • Amy change the workflow if the assembly clerk cant be trusted

  • She should be in jail for ethics violations.

  • You can bet the last dollar in your wallet that Mayor Bronson is going to see this through to the very end.
    Those of you who still think the Leftist Assembly is doing good for this city should be ashamed of yourselves and also I call on you to be the first group to call foul play and see that Both the Clerk and Constant are removed.

  • Everyone is fireable by the Mayor or electable. Did we “elect” the clerk? I believe the Mayor can fire anyone as executive of the people’s will. If she works for them, the (habitually hostile to the residents of Anchorage) current assembly, I believe the Mayor can fire whomever does not support his Executive efforts for the residents.

  • Suzanne, I would respectfully request that, in the future, you do NOT refer to the radical extremist authoritarian majority on the Anchorage Assembly as “liberals”. There is literally nothing ‘liberal’ about those power-hungry control freaks, not in a single facet of their agenda. “Fascist” or “authoritarian” work equally well, and vastly more appropriately, than calling them “liberal”. An honest-to-God, 1970s liberal would spit in the face of these deranged and morally perverted clowns.

  • Anchorage Taxpayers demand better! Enough is Enough! The tyrants on the Assembly have proven they can’t lead responsibly. Certain Assembly members are cheating, lying and bullying rather than leading. Municipal Code has been violated by these rogue Assembly Members on numerous occasions, including holding meetings without proper notice, no special election within 90 days of resignation of Mayor B, false arrest at Assembly meetings, etc. The MOA Clerk has been an obstructionist and now it looks like she is a collaborator in these deeds by holding up recalls, not making proper announcements and we are all wondering what else. The MOA Clerk has violated her Public Trust and must resign or should be fired! Do it quick before evidence is destroyed. We need a forensic audit of the last recall election as there are rumors there was malfeasance. We need to watch the upcoming Oct 2021 recall election carefully. We also need a statewide forensic audit of Nov. 2020. Anchorage must return to in person voting with paper ballots and a voter ID. The Arizona Forensic Audit proved that severe malfeasance took place in the Nov. 2020 election with mail in ballots. If we don’t fix our elections we will never be free again. United we Stand, Divided we Fall. Tyrants must resign or be recalled. Line is drawn!!!!

  • If you can’t fire her sue her or deny her municipal office space and any computer access..

  • Change her work duties to include cleaning the municipal restrooms!

  • What I find even more disturbing is that Chris and Forrest thought it completely acceptable to stick their noses (virtue signallingly masked of course) in things they had no right to know and then demanded an explanation, more info or lodged a complaint. This makes me think that this used to be standard operating procedure and they have a feeling of entitlement.
    Incidentally the ethics board is staffed by the municipal clerk…..

    • The ethics board is staffed by the municipal clerk. Snort!

  • “………Jones works for the Assembly, not for the Mayor’s Office, and also runs Anchorage elections……..”
    Why would the Municipal Clerk work for the Assembly and not the Mayor? Isn’t the Mayor the CEO of municipal operations and employees? What happened to the basic balance of power ideology of the American form of government?

  • Rules are for people that need them:)

  • Synonyms & Antonyms for complacency
    Synonyms
    amour propre, bighead, complacence, conceit, conceitedness, ego, egotism, pomposity, pompousness, pride, pridefulness, self-admiration, self-assumption, self-conceit, self-congratulation, self-esteem, self-glory, self-importance, self-love, self-opinion, self-satisfaction, smugness, swelled head, swellheadedness, vaingloriousness, vainglory, vainness, vanity
    The blatant disregard for rules is embedded so deep they don’t think anything is wrong. Take the NO special election to replace the mayor who quit and she got to keep her assembly seat while acting mayor.

  • JONES CANNOT BE IN CHARGE OF ELECTIONS if any of this is true.

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