Multiple Lawsuits Arise Leading Up to General Election

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

The court case involving polling place violations is only one of the legal actions marring this year’s general election.

Yesterday’s release of U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller’s personnel records by the Fairbanks North Star Borough came after a freedom of information suit was  filed against the Borough by several news organizations.

Miller had worked part time for the Borough as an attorney and was disciplined by his employer for having used borough computers for political purposes, violating the borough’s ethics policy.   Miller has fought the release of the records since mid summer, but recently admitted in public that he had been put on leave and docked pay.

Rene Broker, the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s attorney who was Miller’s boss, said he worked for the Borough for seven years and was considered a friend and a colleague.

The personnel records depict Miller’s behavior when confronted about his actions by co-worker Sue Dolan.  Miller had used three borough computers to vote in a poll, then attempted to wipe out evidence of that use by clearing the computer’s internet histories.  That actually led to the discovery of his acts, as Dolan asked why the histories had been cleared on three computers.

One memo from Broker, dated March 26, 2008, notifies Miller of an investigation and possible disciplinary action for being “dishonest about your conduct and about the reasons for your conduct.”

Other records contain emails pertinent to Borough affairs. Broker worries about email correspondence regarding TAPS litigation.

Apparently, when Miller finally resigned from his employment with the Borough, he wiped out his Borough emails, some pertaining to the litigation, which Broker considers public records.

Broker says she’s still trying to find out why Miller did that.

Broker said most of the missing emails were later recovered.

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