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No Charges Filed As State Closes Investigation Of Unalaska City Council

Berett Wilber/KUCB

State prosecutors won't file charges against any of Unalaska's public officials, signaling the end of an unexplained months-long investigation into the City Council.

Assistant Attorney General John Darnall made the announcement Tuesday, after spending two months reviewing the case for the Office of Special Prosecutions (OSP).

"I screened it and basically declined it for prosecution," said Darnall. "Can't really get into the reasons why, other than I didn’t see any criminal offenses."

It's still unclear why some number of current or former city councilors was under investigation. Local police declined to comment when they launched the inquiry, and the Alaska State Troopers (AST) did the same when they took over the case.

A former councilor suggested it stemmed from a personnel controversy that erupted last summer between the council and former city manager Dave Martinson regarding Acting Police Chief Jennifer Shockley.

Darnall declined to clarify.

"It was small town gossip going around, in my personal opinion," he said. "Getting things spun up."

The case is now closed unless new information comes to light.

In a written statement, the Unalaska Department of Public Safety supported OSP's decision.

"We turned this investigation over to AST several months ago in order that they might complete a thorough investigation without any appearance of impropriety," read the statement. "The [District Attorney] and OSP always have the option to decline prosecution in any criminal case and we trust that their decision not to pursue charges was made with the best interests of justice for all members of our community in mind."

The City Council's next meeting is June 26.

Laura Kraegel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2020. She was KUCB's news director starting in 2019. We are proud to have her back in the spring of 2023 filling in as an interim reporter for KUCB.
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