Two Anchorage Assembly members call on Judy Eledge to resign

A white woman in yellow sitting at a seat
Judy Eledge, then acting library director, at a special Anchorage Assembly meeting on Oct. 14, 2021. The Assembly is considering a resolution Tuesday calling on Eledge, now the deputy library director, to resign. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

Two members of the Anchorage Assembly say they have no confidence in Deputy Library Director Judy Eledge and want her to resign. 

In a resolution up for a vote on Tuesday, they’ve laid out more than three pages of reasons why. That includes Eledge’s racist comments toward Alaska Natives caught on tape, workplace complaints for discrimination, harassment and bullying, and the ongoing legal and financial liability of keeping her employed. 

The resolution heavily cites reporting last month by the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica about Eledge’s inflammatory private and public comments, which also targeted LGBTQ+ legal protections. 

The retired teacher is also president of the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club and Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s recent pick for a seat on the national Education Commission of the States. 

Eledge and the mayor’s office could not immediately be reached for comment. 

The resolution calling for her resignation is sponsored by Anchorage Assembly members Kameron Perez-Verdia and Chris Constant. 

Eledge’s tenure in city government has been rocky. Mayor Dave Bronson appointed her to lead the library system in 2021. She was a longtime school teacher, but didn’t meet the minimum requirements for library work experience or education. 

“I will work hard to make the Anchorage public libraries the most welcoming and relevant of our city’s facilities,” she said at the time in a press release

A few months later, Eledge resigned from the top library position, with the mayor’s spokesman saying she did not want to go through “what has been an unfair disparaging” of the mayor’s nominees. But, she stayed on as the deputy – and de facto director – while a search dragged on for a permanent library director

Bronson’s administration bungled its handling of workplace complaints against Eledge and spun off scandals of their own. A city investigator looking into complaints against Eledge was fired, sued for wrongful termination and may be close to securing a six-figure settlement

Niki Tshibaka, the director of Human Resources at the time, wore a t-shirt that said “I’m with Judy” during a hearing where he was supposed to be listening to complaints impartially

a portrait of a man outside

Jeremy Hsieh covers Anchorage with an emphasis on housing, homelessness, infrastructure and development. Reach him atjhsieh@alaskapublic.orgor 907-550-8428. Read more about Jeremyhere.

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