Former Fairbanks Mayor Comes Forward With Information About Miller

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Jim Whitaker has come forward with some new information regarding U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller.

Whitaker has confirmed reports that Miller was nearly fired from his job as a borough attorney in 2008 after using borough computers in efforts to push Republican Party chair Randy Ruedrich out of his position.

Whitaker told the Fairbanks Daily News Miner on Wednesday that  Miller’s use of borough property violated the  Borough’s ethics policy. Miller was not fired at the time, he said, because  the borough needed Miller to continue working on legal action related to Trans-Alaska Pipeline System taxes. Miller later resigned from borough employment  2009.

Whitaker would not go on tape for this story, but he said he felt obligated to come forward with the information because of Miller’s head-on confrontation with Alaska reporters on Monday of this week. Whitaker said candidate Miller was not being truthful when he complained that reporters’ questions were based on lies and innuendo

“Referring to the truth as lies and innuendo is not truthful,” Whitaker said.

Questions regarding Miller’s separation from the Fairbanks North Star Borough surfaced in July.  The Miller campaign at the time released edited records from Miller’s personnel file to demonstrate that Miller resigned.

When asked why he had waited until now to come forward with the information, Whitaker answered that he was waiting to give Miller a chance to come forward himself.   “He’s not going to do that now,” Whitaker said, referring to Miller’s announcement Monday that he would not discuss his personal life with reporters.

Whitaker served as borough mayor from 2003-2009.  He said Miller gained access to borough computers in the days before the March 2008 convention of the Republican Party of Alaska.

The borough’s ethics policy states that “public facilities or employment are not be used for political activities while in work status.”

Randy DeSoto, Miller’s campaign manager did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Download Audio (MP3)