Fairbanks Chief of Staff returns to work following summer DUI charge

One personnel issue has come to a close, and another continues at the City of Fairbanks. Speaking at a city council meeting Monday night Mayor John Eberhart welcomed chief of staff Jeff Jacobsen, who was charged with driving under the influence this summer, back to work.

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”Let me just say, this was a out of character incident with extenuating circumstances by a person who has spent decades, literally decades, in service to North Pole, the city of Fairbanks the Arctic Winter Games and others,” Eberhart said.

Jacobsen, who had been on administrative leave since the incident in which he drove off the Mitchell Expressway and a hit a light pole, apologized before the council.

“I’m just so very grateful that no one was injured as a result of my decisions that night,” Jacobsen said. “And I’m just very thankful and appreciative to be back at the office and at work service this great city and its residents.”

Meanwhile, a second city personnel issue is ongoing. Police Chief Randall Aragon has been on administrative leave since being accused of operating a private security business. Mayor Eberhart said the case will be looked into by an independent investigator as requested by some city council members.

“In conjunction with the city attorney’s office, and our HR department and my office we got together and we asked our Alaska Municipal League to ensure to see about coming up with a neutral investigator,” Eberhart said.

Eberhart said the Municipal League has someone on staff with experience in investigations and police standards. He noted that there are only allegations against Chief Aragon. Deputy Chief Brad Johnsen is serving as chief in Aragon’s absence.

Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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