Anchorage Assembly member Zaletel recall petition to proceed for now

Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel at a Jan. 26 Anchorage Assembly meeting (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

A petition to recall Anchorage Midtown Assembly member Meg Zaletel is proceeding after a state superior court ruling last month. 

Midtown resident Russell Biggs filed a petition last summer claiming Zaletel committed misconduct by participating in an August Assembly meeting with two additional people present in Assembly chambers than were allowed under emergency orders at the time. Biggs filed similar complaints against Midtown Assembly member Felix Rivera, but the recall petition against Rivera failed in the April election. 

The municipal clerk’s office denied Biggs’ petition against Zaletel, saying simply participating in the meeting did not qualify as misconduct. Last month, Superior Court judge Kevin Saxby sided with Biggs, saying the clerk’s definition of misconduct in office was too narrow. 

The city is appealing Saxby’s decision to the state Supreme Court. Even so, on Wednesday the clerk sent a letter to Biggs, outlining petition requirements. Sponsors will need to collect nearly 2,500 signatures by August 16 for the petition to appear on a ballot. 

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Assembly member Meg Zaletel’s last name.

Kavitha George is Alaska Public Media’s climate change reporter. Reach her at Read more about Kavitha here.

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