Alaska assistant attorney general out of job after social media post inquiry

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — An assistant attorney general in Alaska identified by a news outlet as the person behind a social media account that posted racist and antisemitic comments no longer works for the state Department of Law, an agency spokesperson said.

Grace Lee told the Anchorage Daily News that Matthias Cicotte’s last day with the department was Tuesday. She declined to say if he resigned or was fired.

The department last week said it had assigned Cicotte’s cases to other employees while it investigated the matter.

Attorney General Treg Taylor, in a statement, cited confidentiality provisions around personnel records as a reason “we cannot provide further information on the investigation that occurred. However, although we cannot talk about personnel matters, we do not want the values and policies of the Department of Law to be overshadowed by the conduct of one individual.”

Cicotte did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent via message on social media by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Cicotte was one of numerous assistant attorneys general in the department, where public records show he had worked since 2012.

The Guardian earlier this month identified Cicotte as posting racist and antisemitic material under a pseudonym on Twitter. The outlet said it had identified him using evidence provided by “anti-fascist researchers” and its own investigation.

Taylor said as public servants, “we have a high standard for how we interact with one another, with opposing counsel, with the public, and with the courts, in order to garner the trust and confidence of the people we serve.”

Cicotte had been working on cases involving the Alaska Department of Corrections.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations had called for Cicotte’s firing. In a statement Wednesday, Robert McCaw, the group’s government affairs director, urged Taylor to review any case Cicotte worked on “that involved racial or religious discrimination to ensure that the case was handled properly. We welcome the fact that an individual who apparently espouses bigoted views will no longer be administering justice in Alaska.”

The group sued on behalf of Muslim inmates in 2018, arguing that meals provided to the men during the holy month of Ramadan did not meet caloric standards under federal health guidelines. They also said the meals were cold when others received hot meals and sometimes contained pork at odds with their faith. A settlement was later reached with the Department of Corrections.

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