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.

RELATED: With ‘moral authority’ compromised in a pandemic, Anchorage mayor steps away

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.


Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Casey here

Previous articleAlaska News Nightly: Thursday, October 15, 2020
Next articleNew poll finds Sullivan ahead in race to keep U.S. Senate seat