By Libby Casey
The Fairbanks Borough is not weighing-in on the claims of its former mayor, Jim Whitaker, that Senate candidate Joe Miller broke ethics rules while an employee.
Whitaker told A-P-R-N and other news outlets yesterday that Miller used borough work computers for partisan politics in 2008. Whitaker alleges that Miller was trying to get the state Republican chairman, Randy Ruedrich ousted.
At the time Miller was a part-time lawyer for the borough. Whitaker says he was disciplined in writing for breaking the ethics policy, but didn’t lose his job because the borough needed him to wrap up work on an oil pipeline tax dispute.
Miller resigned from borough employment 5 months later. Correspondence released by the borough show he had differences with his supervisor Rene Broker over a few borough decisions, and was displeased that she canceled his vacation to go elk hunting because the office was short-staffed.
Miller would not comment today to A-P-R-N … his campaign said it’s not discussing the issue and that his statement from earlier this week speaks for itself. On Monday Miller’s campaign invited reporters to a press conference, only to have him announce that he’s not going to answer questions about his background or personal issues.
Fairbanks Borough Attorney Rene Broker says the office won’t comment on Whitaker’s accusations. The Borough released to news organizations in July a heavily blacked-out set of documents relating to Miller’s employment. Officials say they can’t release more without Miller’s permission.
Two news outlets, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and the Alaska Dispatch have filed lawsuits against the borough to get more information about Miller’s time there from 2002 to 2009.
Broker says the borough will comply with the law if there’s a court order to turn over the information. The borough expects Miller to become party to their side of the suits.
Former Mayor Whitaker says he came forward with his accusations because Miller was, in his opinion, not being honest. Whitaker would not go on tape with A-P-R-N.
Borough policy forbids former mayors from talking about “confidential information,” but it’s attorney Rene Broker would not speculate on whether Whitaker’s comments tread on confidential matters.