Bethel City Council Investigation Sent to District Attorney’s Office

Officials are not speaking about the recent referral of the Bethel City Council’s investigation into contracts, nepotism, and personnel issues to the District Attorney’s office.

The document has not been released to the public in the month since the council received it back from attorney Michael Gatti, but it has been passed onto the District Attorney’s office.

Fourth Judicial District Attorney June Stein says no charges have been filed and did not have a timeline for when their review would finish. She declined to speak to any specifics on any potential investigation. Bethel City Attorney Patty Burley had no comment about referring the investigation to the authorities.

KYUK and six other news organizations, including the Anchorage Daily News and the Associated Press are seeking release of the document. The city clerk cited attorney client privilege in the initial rejection of the records request.

The Bethel City Council on Tuesday in a special meeting will go into executive session to discuss that records request.

In other business, the city is getting closer to hiring an interim city manager. They interviewed candidates last week and in Tuesday’s special meeting will look at background checks and could move forward on establishing the contract position.

Port Director Pete Williams has been the Acting City Manager since the council fired Lee Foley last month following the investigation.

In the executive session, the council will also discuss the collective bargaining agreement.

Ben Matheson is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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