LISTEN: How a TV interview led to Anchorage mayor’s resignation

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz in 2018. (Alaska Public Media file photo)

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz announced his resignation Tuesday amid a quickly unfolding scandal that involved what he described as a past, “inappropriate” relationship with local TV anchor Maria Athens.

Days earlier, on Friday, Athens said in a widely shared Facebook video that Berkowitz had posted a nude photo of himself to an “underage girl’s website,” an allegation Berkowitz denied and which police and the FBI both said they investigated and found to be unsubstantiated. And, in a recording revealed by the mayor’s office, Athens had left Berkowitz an anti-Semitic phone message threatening to kill him and his wife.

In his resignation letter, Berkowitz said his “unacceptable personal conduct” had compromised his ability to do his job.

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Many questions remain unanswered, but reporting by the Anchorage Daily News has pinpointed an interview Athens conducted Friday with another woman as the trigger point for what exploded into a full-blown scandal.

Anchorage Daily News reporter Michelle Theriault-Boots spoke with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove about the reporting.

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