City appeals $2M verdict for fired Anchorage police lieutenant

The Municipality of Anchorage is appealing an award of almost $2 million to an Anchorage police officer who was fired four years ago.

Former Anchorage Police Lt. Anthony Henry won the award after filing an employment lawsuit alleging he was treated unfairly and forced out of the police department.

The municipality’s lawyers, on contract from a private firm, presented evidence and witnesses in court saying Henry was fired because he had leaked the names of confidential  informants in an investigation of drugs and sexual assault within the Alaska National Guard.

Henry’s attorneys said the department had retaliated against Henry for trying to help a colleague suffering from a medical condition.

The municipality’s appeal, filed Friday and first reported by KTVA-TV, mentions 32 points it will challenge within U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline’s decision to award Henry a little less than $1.97 million in November.

Deputy Municipal Attorney Dee Ennis said the city has continued to negotiate with Henry’s lawyers outside of court. They filed the appeal, in part, because the award was higher than anticipated, Ennis said.

“There are a number of areas of law with which we are concerned, to get some additional clarity, and so we decided to go ahead while we’re in negotiations to file the appeal and preserve those rights,” Ennis said.

The city has already spent more than $1 million in legal fees on the case. It has been complicated, Ennis said, and involved many depositions. She added that Henry had put a considerable amount of money into pursuing the lawsuit.

Henry’s lawyer did not respond to a call Tuesday seeking comment.

(KTVA-TV contributed reporting to this story via The Associated Press)