Hall Apologizes To Muni Clerk and Attorney For Demboski Comments

Tuesday’s Anchorage Assembly meeting started off with a bit of a bang. Within the first 10 minutes Assemblyman Ernie Hall took the unusual step of apologizing to Muni staff for the disparaging comments towards them made by a fellow Assembly member in an email. He read the email aloud without disclosing the sender’s name. It sharply criticized the Municipal Attorney and Clerk’s saying:

“It is disappointing to see that the Municipal Attorney and Clerk’s office are manipulating the referendum process to intentionally undermine the democratic process. A quick review of the most recent referendum reveals AO 37’s question was legally sufficient, and this question, being very similar, has been not only rejected, but reworded in such a fashion to manipulate the electorate. This is not only a violation of the public trust, but in direct conflict with both officials’ sworn duty to serve the people of Anchorage and protect the democratic process, which is core to our democracy.”  

Hall said as Chairman of the Muni’s Ethics and Elections committee he felt compelled to “Speak in support of our Municipal Clerk and Municipal Attorney.” He then went on to apologize, to both of them for the contents of the email, again, without saying who sent it.



A few minutes later, during her own committee report Assemblywoman Amy Demboski acknowledged that she was the one who sent the email and defended its contents:



The email was a response to the Municipal Clerk’s and Municipal Attorney’s handling of the referendum petition submitted by a group of women last month regarding the recently passed ordinance adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the Muni’s non-discrimination code.

As we reported earlier in the week, our sources tell us Hall’s  public rebuke of Demboski’s email wasn’t the only message her fellow assembly members sent Demboski. Her continued attacks on the Municipal Clerk and Attorney have lead to three of them (Jennifer Johnston, Bill Evans, and Ernie Hall) resigning from the committee Demboski chairs, the Community and Economic Development Committee.  

The actions as a whole indicate the majority of assembly members have chosen to adopt a strategy of internally confronting Demboski to make clear her actions are inappropriate. At the same time they are avoiding publicizing their actions or even mentioning her by name, thereby depriving her of the high profile negative attention they clearly think she thrives on.

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3 Comments on "Hall Apologizes To Muni Clerk and Attorney For Demboski Comments"

  1. I appologize for the actions my Assemblyman Ernie Hall. Again.
    Glad to see is retiring, he has earned it, but if Assemblymen cannot criticize their employee, the clerk, and the Mayors employee, the Municipal Attorney, former partner with Evans, then why have discourse.

    • Neva Arlene Reece | December 26, 2015 at 11:22 am | Reply

      You do not understand that criticizing and undermining are two different things. Also insulting people is extremely poor form of communication. Demboski is expert at that.

  2. Casey Reynolds | December 28, 2015 at 4:32 pm | Reply

    Tom McGrath says the system wont let him post, so here is what he wanted posted as a comment:

    Can you serve two masters?—The answer has always been no.
    Last Tuesday night Assemblyman Ernie Hall took Assembly Person Amy Demboski to task for criticizing the process of how an initiative is approved. The Anchorage Charter, Article II, Bill of Rights lists the right of initiative as the number one right of the citizens of
    Anchorage. The Anchorage Assembly has taken it upon themselves to append
    this right with conditions and procedures whereby the proposed
    initiative is routed through the Municipal Clerk to the Municipal
    Attorney for review and approval. What if the initiative is contrary
    to what the beliefs of the Clerk and Attorney are? Wording can be
    changed to obfuscate the true intention of the initiative and if the
    matter or submittal of the initiative is time sensitive the Clerk can
    hold the matter until the last possible minute.
    Whether the Clerk or the Attorney acted in error or not is not my
    concern. “That they could have acted that way is my concern”. For
    the Anchorage Assembly to put requirements on the initiative process
    that could be considered biased is very concerning. I believe a process
    should be established so that an independent attorney would be in
    charged with insuring the language meets constitutional muster and
    initiatives be allowed on the ballot that are not restricted (or aided) by
    persons whose very employment is political.
    It is also very interesting when the shoe is on the other foot past assembly
    persons have argued that they can’t trust the “Mayor’s Attorney” and
    Now hire and employ a separate attorney that serves their interests.

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