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Judge Orders Alsworth and Anelon Not to Use Official Positions for Personal Gain
Posted 8.24.12 by Renewable Resources Coalition
Duo failed to declare conflict of interest in Pebble Mine decisions while on Lake and Peninsula Borough Assembly
Anchorage, AK - Alaskans for Bristol Bay today applauded the decision by Superior Court Judge Steve Cole ordering Lake and Peninsula Borough Mayor Glen Alsworth and Assembly Member Sue Anelon to cease using their official positions for personal and financial gain. The ruling requires Alsworth and Anelon to declare a conflict of interest and refrain from taking any further official actions related to the proposed Pebble Mine and the Borough's School Board budget.
Specifically, the Court found that "Glen Alsworth, Sr. has a substantial financial relationship with the developers of the proposed Pebble Mine Project because of significant payments made to him by those developers through businesses he owns or controls."
"We are pleased Judge Cole recognized the egregious conflict of interest resulting from Mayor Alsworth and Assemblywoman Anelon's large financial ties to the Pebble Partnership and the Lake and Peninsula Borough School District, and their official duties on the Borough Assembly," said Art Hackney, spokesperson for Alaskans for Bristol Bay. "Despite Borough residents voting to ban the Pebble Mine, Alsworth and Anelon have continued to advocate for the project while holding public office."
The ruling bars Alsworth and Anelon, when acting in any official capacity, from speaking out on behalf of the Pebble Mine or any entities who would benefit from the mine's development, and also prohibits them from using their official positions to take any further actions against opponents of the Mine.
Judge Cole also chastised Alsworth and Anelon for abusing Borough resources and letterhead "for the transmittal of the unsigned and undated 'open letter' to Borough residents which attacked plaintiffs and their lawsuit" that this letter was not "lawfully authorized by the Borough Assembly." Judge Cole concluded that Alsworth and Anelon's use of the Borough Attorney's services to defend themselves personally was unlawful and unauthorized.
"Lake and Peninsula Borough residents deserve public servants who are looking out for the Borough's best interests, not a personal payday," said Hackney. "This ruling is a positive step towards eliminating the cozy relationships between these Borough officials and the foreign mining conglomerates that have paid them hundreds of thousands of dollars. Alsworth and Anelon could not serve the best interests of Borough residents while under the influence of these vast payments."
The Pebble Mine would be situated at the headwaters of Bristol Bay--an area supporting the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery as well as sport fishing opportunities, local subsistence fishing with a 10,000 year history, and a commercial fishing industry that employs 7,000 workers and generates $300 million a year.
To read Judge Cole's order, please click here.
Alaskans for Bristol Bay
Alaskans for Bristol Bay is a 501(c)(6) organization dedicated to preventing the destruction of the largest wild salmon fishery on earth. The Bristol Bay headwaters support abundant wildlife, local subsistence with a 10,000 year history, and world class commercial and sport fishing opportunities. For more information, please visit www.alaskansforbristolbay.com.