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Kenai Borough lawyer rebukes blogger’s accusation over Mayor Pierce’s resignation

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Charlie Pierce was not forced to resign, a left-leaning political entertainment blog claimed.

Accusations that he was forced to resign are false, the district attorney said. He voluntarily resigned. There is no settlement agreement requiring him to resign. There is no monetary settlement. There are no signed agreements.

“I cannot comment on threatened or pending litigation, including the existence or non-existence of threatened litigation, except to say that the KPB has not received any publicly filed quasi-judicial administrative or judicial complaint related to the one of the allegations raised in The Alaska Landmine Story (or any other similar story about it), wrote the borough’s lead attorney, Sean Kelly.

Kelly elaborated on the claims of the blogger, who had been cooking up controversy for days before Pierce’s resignation in order to focus on his gubernatorial campaign:

To answer your question below, please know that I do not intend to engage further in either direction on this matter and will not waive solicitor-client privilege. However, it seems that some clarifications are necessary. In my role as District Attorney, this is the extent of the information I can provide at this time:

I cannot comment on confidential internal investigations except to say that there is no ongoing investigation. In the interests of transparency, however, on July 14, 2022, the Borough engaged the law firm Ashburn & Mason to conduct a confidential internal investigation. This survey was completed in July. Any internal document or memorandum prepared for the purposes of or relating to the investigation is covered by attorney-client privilege, or the doctrine of attorney’s work product, or constitutional protections of individual privacy, and may not be disclosed in the absence of a court order. Therefore, and to protect the privacy rights and participation of all Borough employees in internal investigations, I cannot, at this time, confirm or provide individual names regarding the investigation. It would be inappropriate for me to infer otherwise.

Mayor Pierce voluntarily resigned. There is no settlement agreement that required or called for Mayor Pierce to resign. There is no applicable settlement agreement. There was no monetary settlement. There are no signed agreements.

I cannot comment on threatened or pending litigation, including the existence or non-existence of threatened litigation, except to say that the KPB has not received any publicly filed quasi-judicial administrative or judicial complaint relating to any allegations raised in Alaska. Landmine story (or any other similar story on this topic).

As a general rule, we ask you to submit a public record request for any public contract or document, but to avoid some hassle I am attaching the KPB contract with Ashburn & Mason.

As reported on Friday, KPB’s legal department will issue a succession memorandum next week. KPB’s legal department will not comment further on speculation surrounding Mr Pierce’s resignation.

Thanks,

Sean Kelly

Senior Kenai Borough Attorney