Anchorage’s acting health director, David Morgan, has resigned after just over a month on the job, according to a statement from the city on Friday.
Morgan was appointed by Mayor Dave Bronson and has been serving as health director since July. At a recent work session about his nomination, Morgan faced pointed questions from Anchorage Assembly members who asked about his qualifications and social media comments he made downplaying the seriousness of COVID-19, as well as allegations that he mismanaged finances under previous employers.
Morgan worked for decades in health care finances, but he does not have education or experience in public health.
He faced a confirmation vote by the Assembly next week.
In his resignation letter, Morgan blamed partisan political opposition that he says caused him to withdraw his nomination. He wrote that after he was nominated, “it became very clear I would be the target of an organized political witch hunt.” He said he felt “great sadness” at withdrawing his name.
Bronson said in a statement that he “regretfully accepted” Morgan’s resignation.
“The Anchorage Assembly has long acknowledged that a new Mayor should have the authority and ability to appoint his or her own senior leadership team,” Bronson said in a written statement. “However, the Assembly is headed down a very dangerous path that challenges years of precedent and undermines any future Administration from performing its required duties.”
Deputy Health Director DeeAnn Fetko was named acting director of the Anchorage health department.
This story has been updated.