State Employee Charged with Accepting Unlawful Gratuity

Alexandra Gutierrez, KUCB – Unalaska

A state employee for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has been charged with the receipt of an “unlawful gratuity.” Melanie Bakker, 26, allegedly received $100 after conducting a gear inspection on the Northwestern.

According to court documents, Bakker had scheduled the inspection with Sig Hansen, the captain of the Northwestern, for Saturday, January 15. After the inspection occurred, the Deadliest Catch star offered to buy Bakker dinner. Bakker told police that she declined the invitation, but that Hansen then insisted that she take a gift of $100.

Police received an anonymous tip last Wednesday that an act of corruption occurred, and the State of Alaska formally pressed misdemeanor charges against Bakker on Friday. Sgt. Matt Betzen with the Unalaska Department of Public Safety stated that Bakker is not being charged with the greater crime of bribery — a class A felony — for a number of reasons.

According to ADFG office in Unalaska, Bakker is no longer with the department. Because the issue is a confidential personnel matter, no further comment was provided.

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