Anchorage officials are separating the city’s human resources director, Niki Tshibaka, from any personnel complaints filed by library staff.
That’s according to a memo sent to library employees Monday by the city ombudsman Darrel Hess.
The memo comes after library staff filed complaints that Deputy Library Director Judy Eledge had made offensive comments at work and created a toxic environment.
Eledge was appointed by Mayor Dave Bronson to lead the city’s library system last August. But, before her confirmation hearing, she resigned and took the deputy director job which does not require Assembly confirmation. The library director position remains vacant, making Eledge the de facto head of the library.
In the memo, Hess said that several library employees have been discouraged from filing personnel complaints with the city’s Human Resources department, “due to their perception that their concerns might not be investigated thoroughly, fairly and impartially.”
Tshibaka — the HR director — has faced criticism over his support for Eledge as the city’s Office of Equal Opportunity director was investigating complaints against her. The equal opportunity director, Heather MacAlpine, was later fired. She mentioned Tshibaka’s “I’m with Judy” t-shirt in her wrongful termination lawsuit. Tshibaka is the husband of Republican Senate candidate Kelly Tshibaka.
As part of the memo, Hess listed three recommendations to the mayor’s office, which he said have been implemented. They include “walling off” Niki Tshibaka from library personnel complaints, having the municipal attorney’s office investigate those complaints and for Tshibaka to no longer be part of library hiring panels.