Anchorage IT director resigns after Assembly pressures mayor for more information on scheme to challenge election

a building outside
Anchorage City Hall. (Mizelle Mayo/Alaska Public Media)

The head of Anchorage’s information technology department has resigned, more than a month after an investigation found he used his position to inappropriately collude with political campaign operatives to challenge the results of the last city election. 

In an email on Wednesday, the mayor’s spokesperson Veronica Hoxie said that Marc Dahl “respectfully resigned” from the job “to pursue new career opportunities.” 

“Mr. Dahl has had a successful career in both the private and public sector, including seven years of dedicated service to our City,” she wrote. “We thank Mr. Dahl for his service to the community, and wish him the best of luck.”

Dahl could not be reached for comment. 

Mayor Dave Bronson picked Dahl to lead the IT department when he took office in 2021. 

In May, the Anchorage Daily News reported that the city ombudsman was investigating Dahl for his role in an election challenge. Dahl went on monthslong administrative leave. 

Bronson did not publicly address the investigation for weeks. In August, the ombudsman’s investigation report was released, and it recommended firing Dahl for failing to be politically neutral in his duties.

The ombudsman showed that Dahl illegitimately created a municipal policy regarding the use of USB drives, and immediately fed that unpublished policy to Bronson’s former chief of staff Sami Graham. Graham then used election workers’ violations of the illegitimate policy as a pretense to formally challenge the April election results. City election officials dismissed the challenge. 

More weeks passed without Bronson publicly addressing the investigation. Then, last week, the Anchorage Assembly pressed the administration for more information about what happened. Bronson said he had asked Dahl for his resignation. 

Bronson’s current chief of staff Mario Bird said the administration did respond to the ombudsman and will work with the Assembly on a new municipal code to address attempts to tamper with elections. 

Since Bronson took office, more than a dozen executives have turned over due to firings and resignations. That includes the municipal manager, chief of staff, municipal attorney, human resources director, chief of police, library director and health director.

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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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