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:
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: