Remember when Montana Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte body slammed an aggressive reporter last month?
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to community service, anger management classes and a $385 fine. And he won.
The same sort of thing happened in Alaska earlier this year, according to a report from the State of Alaska Ombudsman.
An official of the state — the report doesn’t say who — was leaving a public event in Anchorage, when a man approached him aggressively, shouting, and shoving a video recording device (his phone) at his face, and asked him to comment “on whether Donald Trump should be tried for treason for statements he made during his presidential election campaign.”
The official grabbed the cell phone and gave it to an aide to return to the angry man, who immediately reported the incident to police as an assault.
Anchorage police investigated and forwarded the case to the Department of Law. The prosecutor met with police detectives, reviewed police reports, video, photos, and audio recordings of the event, and spoke with the aggrieved Trump-hater several times.
The DA focused on the possibility of charging the official with fourth degree assault. But there was no physical injury and the official could simply claim he acted in self defense and used non-deadly force. The DA decided the official’s response was reasonable under the circumstances.
Stay tuned. We’ll update this post when/if we get the identity of the official.
COMPLAINTS ABOUT OCS: More scorching reports about the underperformance of the Office of Children’s Services were published by the Ombudsman recently. APRN has the story.
AND WITH THAT, THE OMBUDSMAN RETIRES: After 15 years of being Alaska’s complaint department, Alaska Ombudsman Linda Lord-Jenkins has retired.
Complaints about the Corrections Department made up 25 to 40 percent of cases she handled in her career. (A recent one involved inmates complaining about not getting enough toilet paper.)
As the agency’s senior investigator, Lord-Jenkins also served as an assistant ombudsman, starting in 1989, and served longer than any other investigator in the agency’s history.
She conducted more than 75 formal investigations and more than 2,700 informal reviews. She had earlier worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Alaska and Florida.
The ombudsman’s office, with 10 employees and a $1.2 million budget, is charged with investigating complaints about state agencies and workers.
Lord-Jenkins is married to journalist Paul Jenkins (Anchorage Daily Planet) and is term-limited out of the ombudsman job by statute.
NEW COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT CHIEF
Kate Burkhart has been named the new Ombudsman for the State of Alaska. She was an assistant ombudsman in the past, and most recently served as the executive director of the Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Alaska Mental Health Board.
Burkhart, who has a law degree from Tulane University Law School, also has been public interest attorney with Alaska Legal Services Corporation. Her legal practice focused on poverty law, domestic violence, Native and tribal law, and included work on behalf of mental health consumers and those experiencing substance abuse problems. Her bio says she often represented clients who were low-income, elderly, or children, and served as a guardian ad litem for children taken into state custody.